Gentle Recovery

cosy Christmas self-care and cancer recovery


The festive season brings with it an air of joy and celebration, but it’s essential to remember that amid the festivities, our well-being should remain a top priority. For those of you already on the Gentle Recovery for Breast Cancer program, I extend a warm embrace and a reminder that self-care is not just a luxury but a necessity, especially during this bustling time. In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of managing stress levels, particularly in the context of cancer recovery, and offer a gentle guide to nurturing your well-being throughout the festive period.

The Link Between Stress and Cancer Recurrence:

Research has increasingly shown a correlation between stress levels and cancer recurrence, emphasizing the significance of emotional well-being in the recovery journey. Chronic stress can have a profound impact on the body’s immune system, potentially affecting its ability to combat residual cancer cells. Studies, such as those published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research and the Journal of Clinical Oncology, suggest that managing stress may play a role in reducing the risk of cancer recurrence.

Embracing the Gift of Movement:

Exercise has emerged as a powerful ally in promoting both physical and emotional health. Engaging in regular, gentle activities such as walking, yoga, or swimming can contribute to strength, flexibility, and an overall sense of well-being. According to research published in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship, physical activity has been associated with improved quality of life and reduced recurrence rates in breast cancer survivors.

Unwrapping the Present Moment:

In the hustle and bustle of the season, it’s crucial to carve out moments for relaxation and self-reflection. Research, including studies in the Journal of Clinical Psychology and Psycho-Oncology, highlights the positive impact of mindfulness practices, such as meditation and deep breathing exercises, in reducing stress levels among cancer survivors. These practices not only aid in managing stress but also contribute to enhanced emotional resilience.

Reaching Out for Support:

Acknowledging the need for support during this time is an essential step in fostering emotional well-being. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology emphasizes the importance of social support in cancer recovery, demonstrating its role in reducing stress and enhancing overall mental health. Don’t hesitate to lean on your support network—friends and family are there to share the load and offer comfort.

Prioritizing Self-Care:

Amidst the festive chaos, prioritize yourself. Treat yourself kindly and indulge in activities that bring you joy. A study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings underscores the importance of self-care in cancer survivors, emphasizing its positive impact on emotional well-being and overall quality of life.

Setting Realistic Expectations:

Adjusting your expectations for the festive season is not only acceptable but commendable. Setting realistic goals and boundaries, as supported by research in the Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, allows for a more balanced and manageable experience. Celebrate in a way that feels right for you, focusing on the moments that truly matter.


As we navigate through this festive season, let’s remember that our well-being is a precious gift that deserves our attention. By managing stress levels and embracing self-care, we not only enhance our quality of life but also contribute to the journey of cancer recovery. May this festive time bring you moments of joy, connection, and self-discovery, fostering a sense of peace, love, and wellness.

Wishing you a season filled with warmth and well-being,

India xx

India Gooderham

India Gooderham’s background is as a Specialist Physiotherapist working in oncology and palliative care in the UK. She is now working as a Cancer Exercise Specialist and Cancer Yoga teacher and is founder of ‘Gentle Recovery’, an online rehabilitation and wellness platform for people affected by cancer. Her mission is to serve, educate and empower people at any stage of their cancer journey through exercise, yoga and wellness online programmes and 1-2-1 online coaching.

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