Embrace the Gift of Holiday Love During Crisis: 6 “Tried & True” Ways

Embrace The Holidays By: Kathleen O’Keefe Kanavos, International Bestselling Author of Surviving Cancerland: Intuitive Aspects of Healing.

Trouble does not take time off for celebrations or holidays and neither should you. Every day of life is a special gift. Celebrating the holidays is a wonderful way to distract us from our treatments, illness and crisis. When we embrace and celebrate a gift of love, we automatically give back as much as we received. Accepting love is also a gift to the giver.

“But how can I celebrate when I feel so poorly?” you may ask. I asked the same question while I battled three breast cancers over ten years. So the solutions shared here with you are tried and true.

  1. Embrace the gift of love during the holidays as a first step in enjoying life during times of strife. Disaster is temporary. Love is eternal. Focus on the love and joy will happen. It is part of the miracle of life.
  2. Take time to love the simple things in life. Celebration is not measured by how many things you do, how much money you spend, or how lavishly you entertain. It is measured by how much you share the gift of love and how deeply that gift is felt. Celebration comes from accomplishments. Celebration does not come from your mental “to do list.” It comes from your heart’s, “I did it list.”
  3. Start your “I did it list” by writing down your victories in life, no matter how small. Size is a concept and state of mind. Diamonds come in very small packages yet they are a very big commodity. What diamonds do you have to share with yourself that exemplify your life’s accomplishments? Honor them by keeping them with you. When you feel the weight of treatment, illness or life-in- general bearing down upon you, take out your list and re-read it. If you are having an exceptionally bad day, read it to your reflection in a mirror until you believe it. Mirror therapy can be very effective.
  4. Define your limits and know your limitations while in crisis, treatment or recovery. When faced with an emotional or physical decision that is taxing or vexing, ask yourself, “Will life continue to exist if I do not do this?” If the answer is, Yes!” choose to not do it. Remember that the choice is always yours to accept or reject any request or demand. The word “No” does not require an explanation. Just like the word “Because” “No” is its own complete statement. If you feel compelled to soften the blow add, “But thank you so much for asking.” Embracing this concept is a big step in defining your limits and limitations during the holidays that can become a New Year Resolution.
  5. Sit back and let others show their devotion to you during this challenging time in your life. Receiving affection, compliments or gifts is not always easy for many people. You become so accustomed to giving that you overlook the importance of getting. Look at receiving from a different perspective. Allowing others the opportunity to display their love to you may be the best gift you ever gave to them. It can become the memory of a lifetime. Give them the gift of pampering you.
  6. The holidays are filled with miracles. Some are as small as a newborn baby. Some as big as a second chance at life. Watch for miracles during holiday family gatherings, and remember to give thanks for the small things in life.

During a personal crisis it can be difficult to relinquish control of things that were considered “your job.” Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and shift power into the hands of others can be daunting. Trusting in your Higher Power to lead family members can be a big leap of faith, and that may be a good thing. Agree to let others help you with cores or cherished jobs like trimming the tree or cooking the holiday meal. It may be a way of seeing how much you have influenced their life in a positive way and a wonderful opportunity to tweak family traditions so that you have more energy to enjoy the festivities. Think of this change as a temporary respite from past frenzies, no matter how enjoyable they may have seemed at the time.

This holiday season choose to embrace the opportunity to sit back, relax and share the gift of love by allowing loved ones, family and friends to pamper you like you’ve never been pampered before.
You deserve it. They deserve it. Eat it up!

Kathleen O'Keefe-Kanavos Breast Cancer Authority ContributorABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kathleen O’Keefe Kanavos is the International Bestselling author of Surviving Cancerland: Intuitive Aspects of Healing, & 3x Breast Cancer Survivor whose dreams diagnosed cancer. Kat believes dreams diagnose your life. “Did you have a déjà- vu or did your dream come true?” Kat’s interpretations are in American Express Open Forum. She’s a TV & Radio Host for Wicked Housewives On Cape Cod, Coach, Keynote Speaker, “go-to authority” on Beauty, Health, Wealth & Relationships, Panelist/Presenter at IASD (International Association for the Study of Dreams), columnist, & blogs on sites like DreamCloud, Breast Cancer Yoga. Kat taught Special Education and Psychology at USF. http://survivingcancerland.com/

5 Benefits of Laughter for Breast Cancer Recovery

Laughter For Breast Cancer

By: Diana Ross, E-RYT 500
Founder: Breast Cancer Yoga

Laughter Relieves Stress And Improves Health
Laughter and joy is part of the healing cycle of breast cancer recovery, and for that fact many other conditions. I know that laughter has a real beneficial effect on our physical, and emotional health. Laughter will literally melts stress away, so why aren’t we laughing more to relieve all the stress and improve our health? It may be a bit of a challenge to get out of our own way. To often we take life, and our circumstances to seriously and it really doesn’t serve us to do so.  I know for myself when I stop and watch anything funny I focus only on “funny”.

Laughing Releases Beneficial Chemicals
Studies at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, March 7, 2005 has one of the most ground breaking results in terms of laughter’s role in the health of the mind and body.  There is a strong connection between blood vessel expansion (vasodilation) through laughter. Improvement to the blood flow after laughter is equal to a 15-30 minute workout. Researchers believe laughing causes the body to release beneficial chemicals called endorphins, or “natural pain killers.” The release of endorphins contribute to a sense of well-being and will counter act the effects of stress hormones, and cause the dilation of the blood vessels. Even anticipating laughter can increase endorphin levels, and help boost the immune system. All which will reduce inflammation in the body.

Laughter Stimulates Immune System
When going through chemotherapy or radiation laughing can only help. The best part of laughing is that it puts us in a positive state of mind, and that is exactly what’s needed to bring us through the physical and emotional roller coaster ride of breast cancer. Another key feature of laughter is that it moves lymph fluid around the body at a biophysical level.  Just by “over laughing”; that robust, gut explosive laughter is healing. Our immune system function is stimulated by laughter, it literally clears out old, dead waste and toxins from our organs and muscle tissue. It is important that we understand that our lymph system doesn’t have it’s own pump; we need to move around (and breath deeply) in order to properly circulate lymph. Laughter supports this function.

Laughter Stops Depression
The more we laugh the happy we will become and through the laughter we will develop a positive attitude towards everything. Even if there are times where we don’t feel it, we need to fake it. It has been shown that even when manipulated to smile people in truth feel happier. Laughter stops depression right in its tracks and boosts our immunity.

Laughter Reduces Our Levels of Chronic Stress
We know now is the time to pull out all the stops and help ourselves get better. We need to reduce our levels of chronic stress (our journey with cancer may have just begun), we need to boost our immune system function, protect our nervous system, and my God our sanity. Well, “Laughter is the Best Medicine.”

I cannot say enough about laughing, right down to the fact that the people around us will enjoy our company which will support our well being.  Go check out funny videos; YouTube is full of funny.  Rent funny movies. I guarantee a lot of laughter.

Diana RossAbout Diana Ross:  E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

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