As the holiday season approaches, many people with cancer and the loved ones that surround them may ask themselves how they will handle this time of year. You may not be feeling up to all the hustle and bustle that comes with preparing for holidays, or feel like you can’t or shouldn’t get into the “holiday spirit.”
During this time, perhaps the greatest gift you can bestow upon yourself and your loved ones is the gift of permission. Permission can come in many forms. It can mean permission to do only what you feel up to, and delegate the rest. It can mean allowing yourself to feel a certain way without judging yourself. Why not give yourself permission to be happy? Why not give yourself permission to be sad? Why not give yourself permission to be courageous, or scared? These are emotions that all of us feel but don’t always express:
“I’d like to be happy, but I don’t want to get my hopes up.”
“I’d like to think positive, but what if…?”
“I feel like being sad or scared but I don’t want to disappoint all those around me that are trying so hard for me to not feel that way.”
The gift of permission allows you to feel anything that you want—and need—to feel and to tell others how you are feeling. If you don’t feel up to the same type of celebration that you’ve always had, tell someone. Allow yourself to let go of the trivial details and focus on the things that are truly meaningful and important to you, whether it is faith, family, togetherness or anything else that makes the holidays special to you. In this upcoming season of giving why not give yourself the most important gift of all: the gift of taking care of yourself.