The holiday season can be difficult for people who have experienced a major change or loss in their life. Feelings of loneliness, isolation and sadness are common and traditions such as Christmas can be painful reminders of how different life has become.
To help, we’ve put together some tips for coping with cancer over the festive season.
• It’s important to be flexible about the way you celebrate Christmas - trying to maintain traditions that aren’t practical during this time of your life can create stress for yourself and others.
• If you don’t have the stamina to do all the shopping, try asking someone to do it for you, or shop online. You can even buy your groceries online and have them delivered.
• Tell your loved ones how you’re feeling, rather than pretending to be strong. By letting them know how you feel, they are able to show their support. This will help you all feel closer during this special time of year.
• If this is your first Christmas without a loved one it can be very difficult. The first year after a loved one passing away can be hard as you are faced with many significant events without them for the first time. It’s important to remember to be kind and gentle with yourself and it can also help to share how you’re feeling with others.
• Christmas is often a stressful time, especially if you or a loved one is living with cancer. Give yourself and your loved ones permission to get through Christmas the best way you can.
• Good planning can help reduce anxiety. Plan ahead and know who to contact if you have a problem. It’s also important to make sure you have enough prescription medicine for this time as pharmacies may have amended opening hours.
• Remember – this Christmas doesn’t signify how the rest of your Christmases will be. This is just how things are at this time in your life.
Our Cancer Information and Support Services Director, Sandy also shared some tips for coping over the festive season with Health and Medicine. Take a look, here.
For confidential cancer-related information and support, contact our experienced cancer nurses on 13 11 20. The normal hours of service for 13 11 20 are Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm.
Over the 2016 Christmas break, these will be altered to:
Support available outside these hours:
• LIFELINE 24 hours 13 11 14
• CRISIS CARE 24 hours 9223 1111
• SAMARITANS 24 hours 9381 5555