Reducing Anxiety During the Holidays….

Posted by on Dec 20, 2015 in Anxiety Treatment

Reducing Anxiety During the Holidays….

The holidays are a season of festivity, joy, happiness and everything fun. However, there is an increasing percentage of the population that does not enjoy the festive atmosphere of this season. This time of the year is dreaded by some as it may bring about feelings of sadness, loneliness, heartache and despair. Yes, this joyous time of the year can bring about pain and stress for many. The holidays can emphasize everything that may have changed in one’s life, including divorce, death of family members and other major life changing events. For others the holidays may emphasize what stayed the same in their lives, this monotonous feeling can lead to a sense of a lack of growth throughout the year.

For those who normally suffer from anxiety, the holiday season can bring about a heighten level of both anxiety and stress. Unresolved family issues are especially highlighted during this time as well, creating increased anxiety levels. The thoughts of traveling to family gatherings, high spendings and additional expenses, party planning and attending company parties can all be overwhelming for some.

Be aware of your feelings
One of the most important things that one can do is to acknowledge and accept your feelings. If you feel that your anxiety levels are higher than usual or you are feeling exceedingly depressed, try using coping strategies that you may have used in the past that you know will work.  For examples deep breathing and other relaxation techniques. If you are alone, find someone that you can stay with or talk too. Being by yourself during this time is not recommended.

Plan ahead
Avoid last minute trips to the mall and other shopping locations. Lines will be longer and nerves will be on edge during this time. Making a list is imperative, as shopping on purpose is vital and can help relieve some of your anxiety. If you are planning a party make sure that the menu is decided upon in advance, ingredients are bought and meals are prepped ahead of time. Making sure that everything is taken care off ahead of time and getting as much done in advance,  may help to alleviate your anxiety level.

Traveling well
If you are traveling by car or air give yourself plenty of time to travel. Driving during off peak times can help reduce stress levels, as the roads are usually not as crowded. If you are traveling by air to your destination, give yourself as much time as possible, security lines are longer and everyone is usually losing their patience and temper at this time. If you are a nervous flyer, let the ticket agent know, they can pass the information on to the flight crew. Once boarded let the flight attendants know, they can possibly introduce you to the pilots who can help calm your nerve and it may help normalize your fear. If you are prone to anxiety attacks it may be a good idea to have someone travel with you. Prepare for your travel as you would do for anything else.

Accept imperfections
The holidays can also provoke stress related issues as individuals may have the idea that everything has to be perfect, from the perfect meal to serve, to the perfect table settings, to the perfect outfit, gifts and decorations. This idea of perfection can increase your anxiety level quite a bit. Instead leave room for errors, mistakes, and oversights. if you have done the best that you can, and there are still small oversights, so be it. Most of the time others will not even notice these flaws, that may seem so huge to you, and it’s usually overlooked.  The idea of creating the perfect day, can leave one drained, stressed and uneasy.

Take time out for yourself
If you are feeling overwhelmed, do yourself a favor and take a step back. The holiday season is a time to celebrate and to show an expression of love. However, if this season is causing increased anxiety, this may be the best step for you. Make sure that you are getting proper rest, eating well and exercising  regularly. Take a few moments to pamper yourself, this could mean taking the time to make yourself feel good and not run down. It’s important that you are feeling your best, during this time of celebration and not overly anxious and stressed.

With a little help you can get through this season, with a lessen sense of anxiety. If traditional routine is not working out for you, then it’s your choice to change it up. After all this is your celebration too and its up to you to create and celebrate the way that you want too. You can create your own traditions and start a new trend. However you choose to celebrate this holiday season, it’s important to keep anxiety levels at bay.