Holidays and special days, like birthdays or Christmas, can be difficult for those experiencing serious illness and for those supporting them.

Holidays and special days, like birthdays or Christmas, can be difficult for people experiencing serious illness and those supporting them.

These can be stressful times, with expectations and obligations that may be too much for you. This can be an isolating and lonely time.

If you have cancer, there’s no reason you and your family/whānau can’t enjoy the holidays. Take some time to make a plan to make it through as positively as possible. 

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Tips for getting through the holidays and special days

If you have been recently diagnosed with cancer, currently going through treatment, or trying to find your 'new normal' after treatment, here are some tips to help you.

Limit your list of 'must do' tasks

Allow yourself to do less, delegate more, and let people know you may not be up for certain activities. 

For example, if you are hosting Christmas dinner this year, ask everyone to pitch in to help clean and bring a plate of food to share. You can use our SupportCrew tool to help share out the tasks. 

Keep connected

Talk to your family/whānau and friends about what you want, what you need and how your family and friends can help.

Be kind to yourself

It’s okay if you don’t feel in the mood or if your holiday is more low-key.

It can be frustrating not doing everything that you used to, but be kind to yourself first. 

If this becomes a problem for you, talk to someone you trust, such as your partner, a friend or a trusted medical professional.

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We know that going through cancer is tough and can raise many questions. You are not alone.

We have health professionals to answer your questions and provide the support you need. Get in touch

Last updated: December 22, 2022