You may not feel festive this holiday season.  But that’s ok.

You may be in the middle of cancer treatments and find your energy level low. Or you might be experiencing guilt about not being able to do something for someone close to you that has been diagnosed.

The often-unrealistic expectations of the holiday season can cause tremendous stress for anyone, let alone a cancer survivor.  So don’t worry about being at your best, trying to be all things to all people.

Here’s a few suggestions on taking care of yourself this holiday:

Make the Holidays About Your Relationships: Try to get together with family, friends and co-workers. Celebrating alone is difficult, so don’t be shy about accepting invitations with others.  Keep in mind you’ll want to find the right balance between “people time” and “me time”. Give yourself permission to pace your activities.

If you need to, decline an invitation or two so that you have enough energy to enjoy the gatherings that are more important to you.

Create A New Tradition: Give yourself permission to change up the usual holiday traditions. The fancy get-together could be a “potluck”, letting your guests share their favorite holiday recipes.  Allow someone else to host the meal or, even better, take the party out to your favorite restaurant.

Be A Modern Shopper: Use mail order catalogues, shop over the telephone, or try online shopping this year.  Don’t be afraid to take advantage of gift-wrapping services and direct shipping options. If you prefer a more sentimental gift, share your thoughts and feelings. Make your gift personal this year by writing a short note or letter.

Express Yourself: Fighting cancer is scary. It is an emotional roller-coaster ride.  So try not to be afraid to express your feelings in ways that will help you .  Tears can bring a sense of relief. Laughter can be therapy. Sharing can be comforting. Let your feelings breathe by talking them over with a loved one, friend, or professional counselor.

Happy Holidays Pink Inspires Fans!