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Health professionals

We understand that the festive season can be difficult for people who have experienced a major change or loss in their life.

Feelings of loneliness, isolation and sadness are common and traditions over the festive season can be painful reminders of how different life has become.

To help, we’ve put together some tips for coping with cancer over the festive season:

Be flexible

It is important to be flexible about the way you celebrate the festive season as it can create stress for yourself and others by trying to maintain traditions that aren’t practical during this time of your life. Let go of trying to have the perfect holiday season.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Don’t have the stamina to do all the shopping? Try asking someone to do it for you or shop online. Consider buying your groceries online and have them delivered.

Don’t bottle things up

Tell your loved ones how you are feeling rather than pretending to be strong. That way they can show their support by caring and assisting. This will help you all feel closer during this special time of year.

Be kind and gentle

If this is your first festive season without a loved one it can be very difficult. The first year after a loved one passing away is very difficult as you are faced with many significant events without them for the first time. Be kind and gentle with yourself and share with others about how you are feeling.

Avoid things that add stress

The holiday season is often a stressful time especially if you or a loved one is living with cancer. Give yourself and your loved ones permission to get through this time of year the best way you can.

Plan ahead

Good planning can help reduce anxiety. Plan ahead and know who to contact if you have a problem. Make sure you have enough prescription medicine for this time.

Practice self-care

This festive season does not signify how the rest of your holiday seasons will be. Practice self-care and recognise this is just how things are at this time.

What support is available?

One of the most important things to remember is that you don’t have to go through it alone. Talking to someone about what you’re feeling can really help. Family and friends are a great source of support and can be very understanding.

But sometimes, you might prefer to speak to someone anonymously. Call our specially trained staff on 13 11 20 for confidential cancer-related information and support.

Over the 2023 festive break, our 13 11 20 Information and Support Line will be available on:

Friday 22nd December 2023 09:00 am to 12:00 pm
Monday 25th December 2023 (Christmas Holiday) Closed
Tuesday 26th December 2023 (Boxing Day Holiday) Closed
Wednesday 27th December 2023 08:00 am to 12:00 pm
Thursday 28th December 2023 08:00 am to 12:00 pm
Friday 29th December, 2023 08:00 am to 12:00 pm
Monday 1st January, 2024 (New Year Holiday) Closed

For 24-hour support outside of these hours please contact:

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Health Direct: 1800 022 222

Crisis Care: 9223 1111

Samaritans: 9381 5555