Five Ways to Enjoy the Holidays When You Have Cancer

Before a cancer diagnosis, things like decorating, shopping and cooking for the holidays might have sounded like fun, but may now just sound like work. The holidays can be stressful under the best circumstances, let alone adding cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiation to the mix.

Managing the holidays with cancer

Unfortunately, cancer doesn’t take time off for special occasions, but you can manage and even enjoy the holidays with a few easy tips:

  1. Adjust your traditions
    Choose your favorite holiday activities or traditions and modify them to fit your needs. For example, if you love hosting holiday parties, make them a potluck and enlist help with decorating and cleaning from friends and family ahead of time. You can still fill your home with the ones you love without all of the excess stress and work.
  2. Find a better way to shop
    If you want to buy presents for loved ones, but don’t want to deal with traffic or crowds, let your fingers do the shopping online this year. You can also ask friends and family to help you with your shopping list—don’t be shy to ask for the help you need.
  3. Take a load off
    This one is important for many reasons. First, it’s essential to make your health a top priority. Don’t feel bad about taking a nap, leaving a party early or not going at all if you’ve not feeling up to it. Second, its important to express your feelings honestly. Cancer is a terrible disease, and it can be cathartic (for you and your loved ones) to acknowledge that.
  1. Stay social
    If you feel up to it, make plans to get together with friends and loved ones over the holidays. People who maintain strong social ties are less likely to have depression and more likely to cope with the symptoms of cancer, both mentally and physically. 
  2. Accentuate the positive
    The holiday season is the perfect time of year to be intentionally grateful for the good things in your life, no matter how small. Positive thoughts cause the brain to release dopamine and serotonin—two crucial chemicals that have the power to instantly boost your mood.

It can be difficult to find happiness when you have cancer; by shifting your holiday expectations you can cope with your feelings, emotions and responsibilities more easily. Call Certis Oncology Solutions at 858-228-4110 to learn more about our leading edge, minimally invasive cancer treatments.