This time of year is very tough on everyone – from shopping to parties and cocktails to cards and gifts and seasonal colds and the flu. It is especially tough for anyone who is ill, or just recently diagnosed with an illness. For those of us who have a diagnosis already we need to really protect ourselves. There are so many people around in every possible shop and happy greetings where escaping germs is literally impossible.
So what do we do about that? I'll tell you what I do, I set limits. If I'm being introduced to someone new I won't hug at all. And if I need to explain I will. I have lung cancer. And I'll just say a simple thank you to their understanding. Or I've also said, I'm not feeling well, best for me to not shake your hand or hug.
I also make a list for what is a priority – By priorities I mean that I list what is absolutely essential for me to take care of myself – appointments, tests, scans, etc. I try and space them out so I'm not in a medical facility if I don't have to be. But if you are feeling ill do take care of it, not matter what events are coming up for you. Don't let social pressure intimidate you to go to as many parties as possible. The last thing that I want is to be stressed out to the point of losing my energy to go, go, go.
Then it's time for priorities for any social events that I want to go to and RSVP. I do not go to more than one a week. I then shop as much on line as possible for gifts. One for you, one for me! lol I also ask for help as much as I need it.
This is also a time to try and use relaxation techniques as much as possible. Use Mayo Connect for support and help as much as you need it. For those of us on this site lung cancer can make us feel very down or lonely. Make every effort to be with someone. No matter how tough things seem we are all here and alive. If you are having a particularly bad time reach out to comfort someone. The feelings of doing so will make you all tingly and warm inside. When you are on Connect you are never alone.
I wish everyone a peaceful, healthy holiday!
What do you do to cut down on stress during the holidays?