Living with cancer blog

A seasonal wish for cancer survivors: Celebrate life

By Sheryl M. Ness, R.N. December 20, 2011

While the holiday season is a time for us all to celebrate life and its many blessings, it can also be stressful. After decorating, baking and shopping, take time out to enjoy the season with your friends and family. I thought I'd share a few thoughts to keep in mind during the busy holiday season.

Simplify the holidays

  • Create a new holiday tradition that makes the most of your energy, plan to have a potluck dinner, attend a holiday concert or eat at a favorite restaurant.
  • Send seasonal cards or letters after the holiday bustle.
  • Reduce the stress of shopping in stores and shop online instead.
  • Buy holiday treats from your favorite bakery to reduce the amount of time you spend baking.
  • Reach out for help when needed — for example, ask someone to decorate your home or trim the tree; serve them hot chocolate and the pleasure of conversation in return.

Live in the moment

  • Realize your limitations and feel comfortable doing less.
  • Don't feel obligated to live up to others' expectations.
  • Express your love in more direct ways than gifts.
  • Rededicate yourself to your spiritual growth.

Share the hope

  • Donate to a local charity (such as the food shelf) versus purchasing gifts.
  • Adopt a local family in need.
  • Count and communicate your blessings.
  • Invite someone to your celebration who you know is alone for the holidays.

Celebrate the little things in life, including each day you are blessed with and the people who support and love you. Feel free to share how you are celebrating life during the holidays.


Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.

Dec. 20, 2011