When a close family member is suffering from mesothelioma and you are the mesothelioma patient’s caregiver, life changes. And holidays are bound to change along with it. They will still be the holidays but they will be different. Accept that and along with your family’s cherished holiday traditions, you can perhaps find new meaning and comfort in the spiritual side of the holiday spirit.
For at their very essence the holidays are not about how many batches of fudge you can make or whether you find every high tech toy on the kids’ lists. The holidays – whether Christmas, Channukah, Diwali, Kwanza or Winter Solstice – are really about a celebration of spirituality. As a caregiver for a mesothelioma patient, it is an important time for you to look into that side of yourself.
Not only will you be celebrating the true reason for the season, but you will be helping to reduce your stress in the process.
Even the health experts at the renowned Mayo Clinic say so. “Spirituality has many benefits for stress relief and overall mental health,” Mayo Clinic experts point out on the health facility’s website.
One of the benefits of embracing spirituality is letting go of the stress of trying to micro-manage everyone and everything. When you feel part of a greater whole, you realize that you aren’t responsible for everything that happens in life and that’s okay.
How to Cultivate Your Spirituality
Spirituality involves getting in touch with your inner self. A key component is self-reflection. For some that may mean going to church or attending other religious services. Others may find a nature walk or yoga class to be uplifting.
Try these tips from the Mayo Clinic:
- Try prayer, meditation and relaxation techniques to help focus your thoughts and find peace of mind.
- Keep a journal to help you express your feelings and record your progress.
- Seek out a trusted adviser or friend who can help you discover what’s important to you in life. Others may have insights that you haven’t yet discovered.
- Read inspirational stories or essays to help you evaluate different philosophies of life.
- Talk to others whose spiritual lives you admire. Ask questions to learn how they found their way to a fulfilling spiritual life.
But it is also important – especially at this time of year – to connect with others. Spirituality also stems from your interpersonal connections.
- Make relationships with friends and family a priority. Give more than you receive.
- Reach out to others without judgment.
- Contribute to your community by volunteering.
As a caregiver for a mesothelioma patient, tapping into your spirituality will help you lower your stress and increase your well-being while helping you truly enjoy the spirit of the season.