If you tell yourself gift-giving will be an undesirable situation, your feelings will follow. If you can begin to see levels of hope and optimism in the situation, there is a chance for positivity.
Make sure your self-talk reflects the goals you have. It will be unreasonable to expect everyone to flip over the great gifts you gave. Instead, focus on how good it feels to let people in your life know that you care about them.
Relaxing is a complex set of actions that challenges your anxious symptoms, but it remains an important focus nevertheless. If the holiday season ramps up your anxiety, you will need to increase your positive coping skills to match. Otherwise, you will become overrun by holiday stress.
Giving your mind and body time and space removed from stress will make your judgment stronger when you return to the gift-giving topic. What relaxation strategies work best for you? If you can’t think of any, it might mean you should be seeking professional assistance.
Choose a Gift
Overthinking is the enemy of the anxious gift-giver because it breeds self-doubt and second guesses. Set aside a length of time to decide on gifts. It could be 30 minutes per person or 10 minutes for everyone, depending on the level of anxiety and your past tendencies.
Once the time has expired, make your decision and stick to it. With your goal setting and improved self-talk, you will realize the “perfect” gift is impossible — you can only do your best, and it is always good enough.
Be Open, Not Self-Deprecating
Your gift does not have to be amazing — it only has to come from you with the best intentions. As you give the gift, consider providing a brief explanation of why you chose that item.
Be honest without making any critical comments about yourself or the gift. If your finances are not in a great position, let others know as a reason instead of an excuse.
Forget the idea that bigger or more expensive is better. Remember, handmade gifts can mean more than the most expensive items.
Plan for the Worst
Not every gift will be a huge success, and your anxiety will likely make their reaction less positive than it actually is. If someone has a strongly negative reaction to your gift, that says more about them than the gift.
Including a gift receipt with the item acknowledges the notion that your gift is not “perfect,” and they can exchange it if they wish. Take this time to reflect back on your goal of improving your anxiety. As long as your anxiety improves, you have accomplished your goal and left yourself in a better position for next time.
If holiday gift-giving anxiety is beginning to build, take some time to consider the tips above. By understanding your past and taking steps towards completing your goal for the future, you will be in a better position to handle the present.