Good morning, lovely YOU!
When I was battling cancer, I spent most of my time pretending I wasn’t battling cancer. I thought if I continued to act “normal” and “like myself,” then I could somehow fool the people around me into thinking I felt better than I did, and fool cancer into thinking it had made a mistake and leave me be.
But all my denial did was exhaust me even more and make me feel isolated because I didn’t share my REAL reality with my loved ones.
This is what so many cancer patients do during the holidays. They try so hard to put on a brave face so everyone around them can still have a good time, that they end up even more tired, sad, depressed, lonely, fill in the blank.
Now, I’m not saying that you should intentionally be a wet rag at your family get-togethers. But I AM saying that you need to honor your journey and, in general, make an effort to take care of yourself during the holidays. No one else in your life expects you to be a superhero right now, so don’t put that pressure on yourself. Don’t be a superhero during the holidays.
Here are some cancer self-care tips on how you can take better care of yourself during the holidays:
Accept Yourself and Current Reality
You won’t ever be able to take the best care of yourself if you are still in denial about the battle you are currently in. I COMPLETELY understand how frustrating it is to not be who you used to be. To not have the strength, the energy, or the good mood you always had. But this is your reality for the moment. And so you have got to deal with it and not push yourself to have the strength, energy or flawless mood.
Being good to yourself starts with being honest with yourself and don’t be a superhero during the holidays.
Make Newer, More Practical Plans
If your family is one that always goes shopping on Black Friday, this year you might need to reconsider. Why? Your immune system is not up to par right now, so going out and hitting all of your town’s malls that are packed with thousands of people and BILLIONS of cold and flu germs is not a great idea. Maybe you could all lounge in your PJs and shop online together.
To make things even easier, maybe this year your family could do a secret Santa exchange so everyone is only responsible for buying one single gift.
If every year you are the person in charge of baking trays and trays of homemade Christmas cookies, this year you may have to ask another family member to do it. People will understand.
Take a look at your holiday traditions, along with your normal to-do list, and see how you can modify things and make your life easier so you are not pressured to be a superhero during the holidays.
Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin
If every year you normally go to five or more holiday events, this year you may only be able to attend one or two. Think about who it is you really enjoy spending time with. Which events will leave you feeling happier or more energetic, and which events or people will suck the life out of you? Make your choices WISELY!
Get More Rest
No one will bat an eye if you need to take more breaks or a nice, long nap. You don’t need to become exhausted, so get as much rest as your body is telling you you need. Don’t be a superhero during the holidays.
Watch What You Eat
Without question, the holidays are a time when most of us give in to temptation and stuff our faces full of garbage. It’s not healthy for anyone to consume too much sugar, but it’s particularly bad for cancer patients. Cancer cells feed off of sugar, and the last thing you want to do is feed your cancer. So, okay, have a treat or two, but you just can’t eat the way the people around you eat.
Ask for Help
Only superheroes say, “no, I’m fine” when asked, “Is there anything I can help you with?” Since you’re not a superhero this holiday season, you will be more than happy to accept help when it’s offered. Heck, you might even become so bold as to ASK others for help.
For instance, if you are going to have some people over to your house, ask for people to help you clean your house. Ask your guests to bring food, so you don’t have to cook the ENTIRE meal.
Putting too much pressure on yourself this holiday season to appear as if you don’t have a care in the world isn’t fair to you, and it’s not fair to those who genuinely love and care about you. To avoid exhaustion and anxiety, follow these cancer self-care tips this holiday season.
Much love and ho-ho-ho,