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The holidays are usually a time to celebrate. Many of us enjoy decorating, wrapping gifts and spending time with friends and family. But for those battling cancer, the holidays can be stressful and it’s easy to feel out of touch with the rest of the world.

Here are some tips for coping with cancer during the holidays:

  • Make plans with friends, coworkers or family – Trying to celebrate alone can be hard, so accept some invitations from others. Find the right balance between spending time with others and spending the time you may need on your own. Make sure you pace out activities and don’t be afraid to decline an invitation or two so you have enough energy to enjoy the gatherings that are the most important to you.
  • Create a new tradition that makes the most of your energy – Change your usual holiday activities so you relieve yourself the pressures of entertaining. Have a potluck where everyone brings a dish, ask someone else to host the meal or suggest eating out at a favorite restaurant.
  • Enjoy special moments –Try to focus on new traditions instead of dwelling on how cancer has changed the holiday season. Reflect on the strengths you and your family members have developed and celebrate milestones in your treatment.
  • Talk to your health care team about upcoming special events – They may be flexible about appointments in order to accommodate travel or other needs.
  • Stay connected during the holidays – Stay in touch with your loved ones through phone calls, emails, video calling or texting. You can also record special events as a way to bring the celebration to your friends and family members.