How to Survive (and Even Enjoy!) the Holidays During Treatment


The holidays can be stressful for any family. Add in the strain of having a child in treatment for a life-changing illness or injury, and you may wish you could skip this time of year all together.

Coping Tips for the Entire Family

Grief, anxiety, depression and anger are all completely normal – and justified. The most important thing to remember is that there is no wrong way to do the holidays. You shouldn’t put too much pressure on yourself, or your family. Just talk openly with each other and find what works best for you. 

Of course, this is easier said than done. And yes, you will struggle. But that’s okay! You can, and will, get through this. In the meantime, here are a few tips to help your entire family cope.

12 Tips for Celebrating the Holidays During Treatment

  1. There is no wrong way to do the holidays. Others may not have a clue how to help you through the holidays and you may not either.
  2. Sometimes the anticipation is worse than the actual day.
  3. Try to establish new rituals and routines. Do whatever gives you a bit of comfort and peace.
  4. Experience your feelings, no matter how messy they are.
  5. Don’t ask too much of yourself.
  6. Remove all expectations – yours, your family’s, others – you don’t need additional pressure.
  7. Talk with your family about what traditions to keep and which to let go.
  8. Laugh, cry and share together.
  9. Ask for help! Your family and friends want to help but don’t know how.  Be explicit.
  10. If anyone says “I want to be by myself” others may think that is a bad idea but they know what they need.
  11. Just show up (or not!). Use the 5 minute rule. If you still want to leave after that, do it without guilt. Have a plan A and a plan B.
  12. Savor every moment, it truly is once in a lifetime.
12 Tips for Celebrating the Holidays During Treatment

Happy Holidays from Ryan’s Case for Smiles

No matter which holiday you celebrate, or how, we are sending you and your family the very best. We wish you a happy, healthy and stress-free New Year!

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