An older woman sits at a snowy window wearing a bright red holiday sweater

Mentally Prepping For The Holidays

Last updated: December 2022

The holidays are coming at us faster than a freight train this year. Doesn’t it feel like its happening so much quicker?

There is so much going on outside of cancer for me this year as well. Not only is Covid still going around, RSV, the flu, and a whole host of illnesses are spreading right now. The colder months bring on more sickness, and I feel like it’s bringing it on HARD this year. It’s also so hard to just show up during these times, and sometimes its unavoidable feeling like there’s a spotlight on you at family functions.

This holiday season

How are you feeling?

When will treatment end?

What’s next for you?

Any surgeries this year?

Being “on” constantly is tough. I feel a lot of burnout this year, and I think for the first time in my life, I am going to give myself permission to sit out some gatherings, and do whatever it is that I want to do. It’s difficult to find this solid ground because for so much of my life, and I’m sure a lot can relate, I have lived my life for other people. Becoming stage 4 has put a lot of that into perspective for me, and for this holiday season, I am going to live life for me.

Filling your cup

It’s not an easy transition. The first step to achieving something like this is simply saying “no”. That in itself is the single hardest step for most, and particularly for me. I tend to apologize for myself a lot, and that has been tough to drop. I deserve to say no, and I deserve to have moments just for me. So do you!

After relieving yourself of normal family holiday duties, it can seem a little empty. I always spent my holiday season planning on having thanksgiving with the extended family, and then scheduling when the Christmas gathering is. It’s a busy time of year, and taking that off the plate can feel like a little bit of a free fall. When you are ready to turn the page, however, you can start planning things that will fill your cup, instead of possibly taking away from it. Perhaps now you will have time for a Friendsgiving, or even a holiday outing with your grandma now that you have time to dedicate to it. I view it as planning intentional time together, which feels like time well spent instead of having to force the time in somewhere.

What resonates for you

This might not resonate with everyone, and that’s okay! I know for a lot of folks, getting to see family this time of year is the only time you have together. That is very important and valid too! If this speaks to you more than cancelling your attendance at gatherings, that is incredible. Make sure you are taking the precautions you need to not get yourself sick, and enjoy this time of year. It truly is the best time of year to make great memories, and to catch up with loved ones.

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