Holiday time may seem like the worst time to be sick or have an illness in the family. Even the warmest of traditions lose their luster when you’re worried about your health care needs or those of someone you love.
This year, the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic adds even more concern for people already facing another serious illness. Holiday gatherings are likely to be quite limited for many people, leading to feeling stuck at home, isolated, and sad. But you can still plan for and have meaningful celebrations.
If you or someone close to you has cancer or another serious illness this year, use these tips and resources to help lift your holiday spirits. Coping with stress in a healthy way will help make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
For people who have lost a loved one, the holidays can be even more difficult. Allow yourself to feel pain and whatever other emotions come along, too. Try following some of the tips above, and remember that although working through grief is important, it’s OK to give yourself a break from grieving by distracting yourself with activities you enjoy. Try to use this time to forgive yourself for all the things you did or didn’t say or do.
And remember that you don’t have to handle your grief alone. Talk with your family and friends about your loss, or find others who have lost a loved one. Your American Cancer Society is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can help you find support online, local bereavement groups, and other resources. Call 1-800-227-2345.
The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
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