It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for some people. But if you’re battling breast cancer, the holidays may understandably bring anxiety or stress. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, nervous or even scared that it won’t be the same. The truth is, it’s all right if it’s not the same as it has been in years past. Right now, life isn’t the same. You’re not the same. And that’s okay.
The compassionate team at Pretty in Pink Boutique have put together a tip guide to help you survive and even enjoy the holidays this year.
Establish Realistic Expectations
The greatest gift you can give yourself this year is to manage your expectations and the expectations of those around you, including family and friends. Let go of perfection.
If you normally host the holiday, let someone else step in and step up. Allow someone else the opportunity to host, cook, bake, shop or even wrap presents. Will everything be done exactly how you would have? Nope! But you may discover new traditions and ideas. Plus you may empower someone to discover their own holiday bliss.
“No” is Acceptable
Pacing yourself is important during the holidays, both physically and mentally. You are hereby officially given permission to say, “No.” Have multiple gatherings happening the same day or even the same weekend? Choose one and wish “Happy Holidays” to the others. Your friends and family will understand.
Feelings are Real
Holidays are filled with emotions, both heartwarming and hard. Cancer has its own set of emotions, and your family members or caregivers have their own sets of emotions. Your feelings are okay. Feeling happy and enjoying yourself are okay in spite of the cancer. Feeling sad or unsure, even in the next moment, are okay in spite of the joyous occasion.
You can also give your family, particularly your children, grace and permission to have emotions that don’t always match your own. If you’re having a rough moment but they are filled with childlike delight, it’s all okay.
Rest As Needed
When your body is battling cancer and you’re recovering from harsh treatments, it’s important to give yourself adequate rest. That could mean leaving the party a little earlier than usual to go home, taking a nap during the festivities and rejoining when you’re ready or even having a last-minute change of plans and canceling due to fatigue. Plan accordingly. And if you want to contribute to the festivities, volunteer to bring something easily replaced or done without, such as a drink, side dish or dessert.
Keep This Year Simple
Grace and Simplicity may be the keys to you surviving and even thriving during this busy holiday season. Give grace to yourself and to those around you. This is new and different and unexpected for all involved. Keep plans and expectations simple and fluid. Enjoy the moments you can, but always be real and honest with yourself and your loved ones. While this is certainly not like holidays past, it can still be a sweet time. Surround yourself with positive, encouraging people who will help you celebrate the season while being authentic with the kind and supportive staff at Pretty in Pink Boutique at 615-777-PINK.