Holidays are traditionally viewed as a time to celebrate. Many people enjoy reuniting with family and friends, exchanging gifts, enjoying meals, and honoring family traditions during this time. However, sometimes people with cancer and their loved ones feel uncertainty and “out of step” from the rest of the world during the holidays. In fact, the holiday season can prompt a lot of questions, such as: How do I take care of the holiday rush and myself at the same time? How can I celebrate when I have so many other things on my mind? Sharing these concerns with the other can help you feel more connected and encourage feelings of hope.

Cancer Support Community – CA Central Coast (CSC-CCC) provides social and emotional support for all families touched by cancer. Their team of medically trained licensed therapists are there to support and arm you with best practices to get you through those feelings of doubt, uncertainty, and isolation. 

Here are some tips and techniques to help navigate the holiday season:

  • Think of the holidays in the now instead of how it used to be or how it will be in the future.  Focus on the meaning of the holiday as opposed to the overwhelming hustle, bustle, and tasks to be done.  
  • Stay within your limits. If you are tired and overwhelmed, communicate this to your loved ones. 
  • Practice self-love and mindfulness. Find a quiet, heart-nourishing spot to write or meditate. There is empowerment when we breathe, let go and be ourselves with no judgment. 
  • Don’t take it personally if friends and family don’t understand what you’re feeling. Not only are they immersed in their own holiday stress, but they have their unique way of coping with your illness. 
  • Delegate or ask for help. If you have a team that can assist with your shopping and wrapping enlist them. Online gift-giving is incredibly easy and efficient. 
  • Don’t beat yourself up for feeling sad at this time of year. Validate your feelings and remember you have been through a tremendous amount. It’s ok to feel blue; the worst thing you can do is stifle your emotions. 
  • Music can work wonders, and if holiday songs aren’t your thing, play songs that lift your spirits.  You might just find yourself moving to the music.
  • If you’re in the middle of treatment during the holidays, find distractions, and let your creative spirit shine. Maybe you’ll discover a talent you never knew you had! But also know that it is okay to just be.
  • Get moving! Physical activity is one of the best ways to benefit your health during the holidays. Walking, Tai Chi Chih, yoga, stretching and gentle movements are great options. Exercise can work wonders for your mood. 
  • And most importantly, breathe and let go of things you cannot control. 

Please visit for more information about CSC-CCC, or if you or someone you know could benefit from CSC-CCC’s support groups, individual counseling, or restorative fitness classes, please contact them at or at (805) 238-4411.