Connection and Support is Vital - Especially During the Holidays
Thinking of you. Hearing those three simple words can change our perspective, make our day better, and assure us we are not alone in the world.
The holidays are a joyful time of year for many, but for others, it can feel like the hardest and loneliest time of the year. Do you know someone going through a hard time, grieving a loss, recovering from illness or addiction, or feeling isolated and alone this year? Being present for them this holiday season is the single most important action you can take to improve their quality of life. If it has been a while since you last connected, send a card or note to break the ice and let them know you are thinking of them.
Be present, not perfect. Avoid overthinking the situation. You are enough and often just what your loved one needs. By practicing good communication skills, being authentic, and showing up, you will both have a chance to enjoy the best holiday gift of all: the gift of presence.
Still trying to figure out where to start? Below are some resources to help you be present for someone that needs a lift this holiday season.
Thank you for joining us as we spread hope and strengthen our connections this holiday season.
How to be Intentional with Your Support
Your Guide to Meaningful Connections
Manage Stress with a Self-Care Plan
Bonus Section: Cancer and the Holidays
To the Kind-Hearted Supporter
If you are supporting your friend or family member who has been diagnosed with cancer or another chronic illness, you know that role comes with many challenges. It’s hard to watch the ones we love suffer and struggle. There is a learning curve that comes with figuring out how to balance your time and energy and knowing how to give in a way that will truly benefit your loved one.LEARN MORE
Cancer, Grief, Loss and the Holidays
The holidays are typically a time to celebrate, be with family and friends, exchange gifts, and honor religious or other cherished traditions. When someone is going through a difficult time, they can feel disconnected, isolated, and out of sync with everyone else. There can be a lot of extra stress and uncertainty, concern that things won’t be the same this year, and pressure to put on a happy face, even if it is not how they feel. Supportive family and friends may struggle with what to do and say and how to celebrate when their loved one is struggling. We have some helpful holiday tips and ideas from survivors and supporters that have been there.Learn More
Staying Connected with Friends Near and Far
Friendships are one of the most critical aspects of our lives, and staying connected when isolated is essential for our mental health. Whether you have a friend stuck in the hospital or a long-distance friend, remember there are many ways to b-present and stay connected to friends from afar.Learn More
Gift Ideas for Cancer Survivors
Want to buy a gift for your loved one with cancer but aren’t sure what to get? Check out Carebetter and Love Her Hug Her for a range of curated items and care packages. Both organizations were founded by cancer survivors who understand the challenges of the cancer experience and the items that brought them comfort. Em&Friends has a fun selection of cards, journals, and other fun stationery gifts. Founded by a cancer survivor with an artistic flair and a great sense of humor, you are guaranteed to find something that conveys just the right sentiment when you struggle to find the words.
Helpful Magazines and Books
If you are looking to understand the adolescent and young adult cancer community perspective, check out Elephants and Tea Magazine. They have a quarterly print magazine and weekly online stories from the community. Also, if you are looking for a fun, easy read filled with helpful tips and tactics for offering support in a variety of life-changing situations (not just cancer), we recommend the book: There Is No Good Card for This: What to Say and Do When Life Is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love
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