Posted 1 week ago

Simplifying Celebrations during Cancer Treatment

It is easy to acknowledge that we have all had a significantly stressful couple of years. The holiday season can bring significant stress, as well. The same things that we have gratitude for, delicious meals, family and friends, and gifts, can also be sources of stress. Here are some ways you can enjoy the celebrations without all of the stress that can come with it.

  1. Say no! – It is okay to pass up a celebration this year. No explanation is needed. Your mind and body must come first before you are well enough to accept others into your daily life.
  2. Let others hold the celebration – It is great to be a host and share your home and a good meal with your loved ones, but let others take over the celebration responsibilities this year. Better yet, agree to host every other year. Doing this will allows you time to sit with loved ones, enjoying the experience without having to host. It is okay to say no to hosting a get-together.
  3. Host potluck-style meals – Maybe you do not want to give up your hosting job, but you need some form of a break. Ask everyone to bring a dish or drink for the group. It can be fun to try other people’s recipes and traditional dishes. You can even agree you will cook the main course, but leave the dishes to the rest of the party.
  4. Simplify gift-giving – Create a gift exchange where each individual is in charge of gifting one person a gift. Another simple idea is a gift card exchange. Everyone loves a good gift card to their favorite store or restaurant. Or decide you are going to exchange your words of appreciation to each loved one at the celebration.
  5. Change up your role in the celebration. – Maybe you are the grandparent that takes your grandchild around the block for Halloween each year. This year, why not be the grandparent that waits at home to see all of the goodies they collected. Or the grandparent that helps hand out candy. Allow yourself a break from the typical running around.
  6. Sit this one out –If you find that you are tired or not feeling well at any point, let your loved ones know you have to sit out and rest. Your loved ones want what is best for you. If taking a nap is what is best for you, then do it! Often we are our harshest critics while our loved ones do not think twice about giving you what you need.
  7. Enjoy the small things – Did you get to have that delicious dessert your grandmother bakes? Or perhaps you get to see a niece or nephew who you do not see very often. Whatever it may be, soak in those moments and acknowledge them with gratitude.

    CEndicottCiara Endicott is the Support Service Coordinator for Ironwood Integrative Services. Ciara oversees class and support group scheduling and implementation, as well as informational support to patients and their caregivers. Ciara also oversees the volunteer program at Ironwood that helps with various patient resources within our clinics.

    She provides basic direction for patients seeking resources within the practice. Ciara has been with Ironwood since 2013, working with oncology patients in her various roles. She is currently completing her Bachelor’s Degree at Arizona State University, Majoring in Community Advocacy & Social Policy, and plans to pursue her Master’s Degree in Social Work.

    Her passion and desire to work with cancer patients have been inspired by her own experience with cancer and her desire to promote whole-person health and healing. Outside of work, Ciara enjoys doing crafts with her two children, playing Scrabble with her husband, and journaling.