Coping with cancer and not feeling festive?

12 December 2017 | Annie Miller

Not feeling festive

The holiday season can pose many challenges for people who are affected by cancer. Feelings of loneliness, isolation and sadness are common. Cancer Council Information and Support services are available to assist with your concerns and needs.


Self-care and expressing your needs:

  • Give yourself permission to get through this period in the best way you can. Try to accept any limitations you may have and remember celebrations don’t have to be perfect.
  • You may experience some difficult thoughts and emotions. Reach out for support from family, friends or support services if you need someone to talk to.
  • Let people know that you may need to have a rest. Keep activities simple and non-strenuous as your energy levels may fluctuate.
  • Be specific about things people can do to assist.
  • Have an exit plan prepared for times when you may find a family gathering or party overwhelming.
  • Keep meals simple and serve food that can be enjoyed by everyone.


Cancer Council Information and Support is available for you:

13 11 20 Information and Support
hours over the festive period

  • 25-26 December: closed
  • 27-29 December: 10am to 6pm
  • 30-31 December: closed
  • 1 January: closed
  • 2 January: normal hours resume
    Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm

Note: Hours are NSW timezone

Talking to someone about your experiences and feelings can reduce distress and isolation. You can:


Other support services:

  • Carry after hours contacts for your treating doctor and hospital
  • Lifeline 13 11 14 (24 hour service) and online chat
  • Your local GP
  • Emergency – 000 (24 hours)
  • Family Relationship Advice Line – 1800 050 321 (8am to 8pm M – F and Sat 10 – 4pm. Closed on public holidays)
  • NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511 (24 hours)
  • Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Helpline 1800 200 526 (24 hours)
  • Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Counselling Line 1800 737 732 (24 hours)
  • Men’s Line – 1300 78 99 78 (24 hours)
  • Kids Helpline (5 – 25 years) 1800 551 800 (24 hours)