Christmas can be a time with high expectations of happy gatherings, but when you have a diagnosis of breast cancer, it may not bring the laughter and joy that is expected. It may be exhausting trying to carry on with the festivities and putting on a brave face for others. You may also not have shared the news so that people treat you no differently to normal.

Whatever your situation, the pressure and exhaustion of dealing with a diagnosis, treatment or the aftermath of treatment can be huge and with the expectation of Christmas, the impact is emotionally tiring.

We all process information in our own unique way through our own ‘life lens’ – through our own thoughts, feelings and memories. It is important to make some ‘ME’ time to be able to step away, breathe, release the brave face and be able to relax and be yourself.

Christmas comes and goes and the challenges we face may remain. Whatever is here and lies ahead, Breast Cancer Haven is here to support you. It is important to look after yourself with care and kindness over this festive period and beyond.

- Sonja, therapist at Breast Cancer Haven, Wessex 

If you need some help over the Christmas period, we can help with our online library of films and audio clips. Breast Cancer Haven centres are currently closed, but re-open on Monday 6 January. Book an appointment on our website for the new year.