5 Low-Key Ways to Show Your Bestie You’ve Got Their Back During the Holidays
By Rethink Breast Cancer December 17 2018
We’re halfway through December, AKA “the most wonderful time of the year”. A time that we get might not be so wonderful for someone facing a breast cancer diagnosis – or their bestie who is feeling shook to the core after learning of their friend’s diagnosis.
The beauty of besties is that you just get each other on a visceral level. That connection is backed by science – research shows that close friends operate on the same wavelength. But then storms in cancer. Suddenly, your bestie is treading into dark, unknown territory that you can’t follow them into. You’re no longer their partner in crime, but a bystander stuck on the sidelines of their experience.
This doesn’t need to be the case. We have some ideas on what you can do for your bestie this holiday season while getting in a little healing for the both of you.
A true bestie doesn’t need all the bells and whistles that the holidays bring. So while the average Canadian is projected to spend $1,563 this season, it’s the little things that will show your friend you care. Taking some time to write out a heartfelt card that reminds them how important they are to you (give them a card that’s handmade for extra brownie points). Also, the act of writing can be therapeutic, making this an opportunity to write some of those feels out that you may not have been able to say out loud.
Are you in a long distance best friendship and worried a handwritten card won’t get to them in time? Show you Give-a-Care by sending them an eCard that gives back to young women with breast cancer.
Have you heard that staying in is the new going out? Show your bestie some love with good, old fashioned quality time. Over the holidays set aside a day for just the two of you, choose your favourite flick and break out your comfiest, coziest PJs for a restorative bonding experience. If your bestie is anything like ours, the watching session will be full of quippy comments and laughter over things only the two of you understand. Having a hard time choosing something from Netflix? Good thing we’ve put together a list of Rethink faves here.
To make this get together even better, pair your movie of choice with some of your favourite snacks! Speaking of food…
We’ve all heard the saying that the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach, but it’s an oldie because it’s a goodie. Nothing says you care like a home-cooked meal. A stomach full of your favourite meal offers comfort like no other. Plus, the memories associated with food involve all five senses, making them more layered and involved than other memories. So, this simple gesture can momentarily transport you and your bestie to a simpler time before cancer came in to make life messier, injecting your bonding time with a dose of nostalgia.
At some point during your friend’s diagnosis you’ve likely said something along the lines of “Let me know if you need anything” – but did you follow up? If the answer is no, don’t worry, you’re not alone. We’ve all made this offer before with the best of intentions, but in reality it’s hard to ask for help, meaning this statement may be more burdensome than helpful during a stressful and confusing time.
So, this holiday season, try to find out what your bestie really needs through questions like “What can I do to help?” or offer up some tangible solutions to them, like going with them to an upcoming appointment, or helping them with something practical like fetching groceries.
This one so sounds simple and obvious, but we can all be guilty of assuming the thoughts and feelings of the people closest to us. Sitting and listening is hard. We mean REALLY listening, without judgment or interjecting with your opinions and quick solutions. Giving your bestie the space to talk about how they’re feeling, no holds barred, will not only be cathartic for them but will give you a better understanding of where they’re at, ultimately making your relationship stronger.
This is especially important to a bestie who is done treatment, or if they’re metastatic and facing treatments in perpetuity, and trying to adjust to their new normal. On the outside they may look healthy, but the mental hardships of cancer linger long after they ring that bell or their hair grows back. Want to know more? Sit with your bestie and ask. And listen.