No one likes being sick during the holidays. Frequent doctor visits, side effects such as taste changes and decreased energy make it difficult to enjoy holiday functions and parties. Financial constraints can make gift giving or travel to see loved ones limited or nonexistent. All of that is enough to bring anyone down.
Here are a few ways to help you break out of the holiday blues.
- Express gratitude. Gratitude is much more than being thankful. It is an appreciation for what you have now and helps you live in the moment. People who consistently express gratitude are happier, more energetic and hopeful. Studies show they are more spiritual , and less materialistic. Here are a few activities that can help you express gratitude this holiday season.
- Be thankful for everything. Start each day by thanking God for one more day of life, and breath in your body. End each day with an appreciation of the experiences of the day.
- Take the time to write handwritten thank you notes to everyone who has helped you since you have been getting treatment. This includes the friends and family, who have cooked, cleaned, provided transportation, a listening ear, and a shoulder to cry on. The doctors, nurses and office staff involved in your treatment. These can serve as your personal holiday cards that you can hand deliver or mail.
- Thank your mail carrier and the garbage person if you see them. All of the people in your life who you have taken for granted, take the time to thank them for their service.
When you are constantly thanking people, it’s very hard to dwell on what you don’t have.
- Celebrate milestones. No matter how big or small.
- When you finish a portion of your treatment, celebrate. You don’t have to wait until you are all done. Take it step by step.
- Participate in community service
- Volunteer to help those less fortunate.
- Read stories or help distribute toys to children with cancer.
This will help you realize, no matter how bad your situation, there is always someone worse off than you.
- Get out of the house. Get yourself out of isolation. This will reduce the risk of depression.
- Get some fresh air. Dress up. Put on some clothes, make up on and go somewhere other than the doctors office.
- Go see some free holiday light displays.
- Find free Christmas programs at churches and schools and go listen to them.
- Listen to carolers.
- Surround yourself with people who make you laugh.
- Watch comedy shows or movies.
- Avoid watching the news. It can be very depressing.
Surviving the holidays can be hard, but if you take the focus off yourself and your problems, you will enjoy the season much more.
: When you are forced to experience the holiday differently, you realize the true reason for the holiday season.