Holiday Stress

By Cheryl Hysjulien, RN, PsyD, LP Dec 19, 2016

The holiday season can be stressful for everyone, including families. Cancer can strain and change personal relationships and dynamics, which may be more obvious and nerve-wracking during the holidays. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind this holiday.

1. Take care of yourself and know your limitations. Remember you have to put on your oxygen mask before you can help others with theirs. Balance the stress in your home life during the holidays before you offer support to others.
2. Cancer in itself is a financial burden and the holidays can increase that financial burden. Be realistic about what you can spend and exercise creative gift giving or re-gifting.
3. Be in the moment.
4. Be “selfish” by putting yourself first. Ask yourself, “What kind of Christmas do I want?”
5. Be realistic about fatigue and other physical limitations. Try to:

  • Set realistic expectations
  • Only travel to one gathering
  • Shop online
  • Get enough sleep
  • Take naps
  • Exercise
  • Set regular eating patterns
  • Get support from others

6. Rethink traditions. Don’t host holiday parties if it is easier for you to go “there.” Or if it’s easier for people to come to you, ask for help with cooking, baking and/or cleaning.
7. Holidays can be difficult, and you might not feel “wonderful.” Tell yourself that any emotion is okay.