The holidays bring families and loved ones together for food, gifts, and spreading cheer. For some, the holidays can be a difficult time. Mesothelioma patients and their loved ones face certain challenges that can intensify this time of the year. It’s difficult to spread cheer with cancer-related concerns in mind. Learning methods to cope with mesothelioma during the holidays can help patients and their loved ones enjoy the season.
Coping With a Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Any cancer diagnosis, including mesothelioma, is extremely difficult to deal with. Stress, dark thoughts, and a weak physical ability make it hard to cope, especially around the holidays. Mesothelioma patients can experience emotions similar to grief, including denial, anger, bargaining, and depression.
Mesothelioma patients can learn coping skills to help offset negative emotions associated with a cancer diagnosis. Patients can reduce sadness and other emotions through low-stress activities, including stretching, meditation, physical exercise, and breathing techniques. Moving your body can help reduce symptoms and improve overall well-being.
How to Deal with Mesothelioma During the Holidays
Take Advantage of Virtual Technology
Spending time with family is a form of stress relief for some, but cancer patients may be reminded of their condition during these moments. It can be difficult to try to enjoy time with family and friends while in discomfort from cancer and its treatment.
Consider taking advantage of virtual technology, such as video calls, from the comfort of your own home. Staying home also allows mesothelioma patients to limit traveling, which can be extremely difficult to do while recovering from treatment.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Holidays are not holidays without food. But having mesothelioma changes the way you can eat. Treatment for mesothelioma can cause side effects the could change your eating habits, including nausea, taste changes, and lack of appetite. Enjoy your favorite holiday foods in moderation, and do not avoid foods that improve your health. You may find it helpful to request a dish or two that you’ll be able to eat.
Reach Out For Help
Family, caregivers, and friends all want to help you if you need it. Mesothelioma is draining, and cooking, decorating, or shopping can be hard while going through treatments. Reach out for help from a loved one to relieve some of the burdens. Just being around loved ones can help you relax.
Taking Care of a Loved One With Mesothelioma During the Holidays
Taking care of a person with cancer can be emotionally and physically draining. The holidays can make things more complicated with higher stress levels leading up to family time. It’s important to consider your mental health and physical health during the holiday season.
If you are a mesothelioma caregiver, don’t be afraid to ask for support or help from friends and extended family members. You may need to ask someone else to host or bring food to help take the stress off of juggling responsibilities.
Caregivers can learn coping strategies to manage stress and emotions. First, caregivers should be self-aware of their needs mentally and physically by paying attention to their responses in various situations. So many responsibilities can contribute to someone ignoring their feelings, leading to a lash-out. Before reacting to a situation, stop and think about your current emotions so you can react in a healthy way.
Other ways to help you cope with a difficult situation include breathing deeply, relaxing your muscles, and keeping your senses grounded. If you begin to feel overwhelmed during the holidays, relax, breathe, and find your senses through visuals, sounds, smells, and tastes.
Additional resources are available to caregivers during the holidays, including support groups or seeing a mental health professional. Mesothelioma patients and their loved ones can find assistance to help offset the loss of income and other financial setbacks of cancer through legal compensation.