Self-Care During the Holidays

The holiday season may seem like an overwhelming time, especially for those who are going through breast cancer treatment, have just finished, or for those who have just undergone diep flap surgery.

Whether you have been affected by cancer or not, the  holidays can be a hard time. It can also be so easy to get caught up in the endless lists that need to be done. According to the American Psychological Association, holiday stress is putting a lot of women’s health at risk. Yes, regular self-care is something that we all need to prioritize – holidays or not.

Here are some self-care tips from Breast Reconstruction Associates, your diep flap surgeons in Austin.

1. Schedule a time for regular self-care activities. It may be a hobby you enjoy, exercise, reading, or meditation. Think about what you love to do, and make time for it each day. Practice self-care at the same time every day so that they become a habit or routine. Share your efforts with your family and friends so that they can help you set aside a time for activities that are meaningful to you.

2. Don’t let the fear of missing out get the best of you. It might be tempting to say ‘yes’ to every invitation you get, but it’s essential to give yourself time to decompress. This year, try to be more selective about  what you do or go to, and you might be surprised to find that you can enjoy the season more.

3. Practice gratitude. This may include letting others know the gratitude you feel, or writing in a journal and elaborating what you appreciate in your life. Reflect on the positive things that came out of your experience.

4. Life after a cancer diagnosis can be frantic. This holiday, focus on slowing down the pace of things and thinking calmly. Take it one minute, one day at a time. Build in time for pause and rest.

5. Set aside time to exercise. This may seem daunting, but exercise is a vital part of healing, recovery, and overall well-being. One way you can get moving without experiencing a great deal of strain is gentle yoga. You can also go for a walk in the park and embrace the fresh air. It will do wonders for your mental, physical, and emotional health.

6. Spend time with your loved ones. After all, isn’t this one of the most important things this holiday season? Some of our patients share that a cancer diagnosis made them more appreciative of family and friends.

5. Be mindful. Mindfulness is a word that has been thrown a lot lately, and this is because a lot of people find that it works. Practicing mindfulness helps reduce stress, promotes a better sense of well-being, and boosts the body’s immune function.

6. Ask for help. This is very important during your cancer journey. Ask for help from a close friend, a relative, your health care team, your primary care physician, or your diep flap surgeon in Austin. You’d be surprised at how accommodating and welcome people can be once you ask. Take things easy, and make the most of any help that is given to you.

Above all, be kind to yourself. However you do it, self-care is an essential part of your recovery.  Savor the process of discovering what feels nice to you, then enlist for the support of family and friends to incorporate those activities into your everyday life. Always give yourself permission to take care of yourself, especially during the holiday season.