Tips for Managing Anxiety During the Holidays
The holiday season is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, and perhaps it is for most people. Unfortunately, Christmas and New Year mean lots of factors that can trigger your anxiety and make you feel really uncomfortable.
Along with preparing presents, shopping and visiting family and relatives we can often feel exhausted and overloaded with all of these activities. Here are some of the most common factors that can lead to stress, anxiety and depression during the holiday season and few practical tips for coping with this holiday anxiety.
You have more expenses than usual
The problem: Of course one of the best part of holidays is preparing presents for your loved ones. But this can often cause you stress, especially if you don’t have an unlimited budget.
The solution: Make a plan and stick to a budget. Before the holiday season, try to make a plan and decide how much you can actually afford to spend on gifts and shopping. Prepare a certain amount of money that will not affect your normal budget for the month and stick to it. There is no need to buy super expensive and extravagant gifts. Remember that the purpose is to show your love and appreciation to your closest friends and family. If you have time you can also try and make some of the presents. Homemade presents are a perfect way to be original and show that you put an effort into your gifts.
Be honest with yourself and your feelings
The problem: Your relationship is over, you have lost a close person, you will not be able to spend the holidays with your family and loved ones.
The solution: If this is your case this season there is no need to shut your eyes and pretend that nothing is happening. A better idea is to take time and realize that this is a normal situation or a period in your life. Take the time for grief and don’t feel guilty if you want to show that. Just because Christmas is coming doesn’t mean that you have to be joyful at any cost. Face your problem, take your time for grief if you need and let it go. One of the biggest mistakes that people who suffer from anxiety do is not letting go of their bad feelings and trying to stick to their normal lifestyle. Sometimes that just doesn’t work and you have to deal with the problem.
You are feeling lonely
The problem: Holiday season can be the happiest or the saddest time of the year. Often during the holidays people feel that they are alone, they don’t have friends or feel isolated.
The solution: Don’t close for the outer world. Sitting alone in your apartment and thinking about how lonely you are will certainly not help you feel better. Try to find some social activities and get involved. A good idea is to try and participate in charities that help other people. This way you will not only donate your time and efforts for a good cause but you can also find new friends and acquaintances.
You have so many things to do that finally you feel more tired than relaxed
The problem: Many things on your to-do list and not enough time. You have to shop, meet friends, travel, spend time with your family, prepare dinner, etc. Your to-do list can be really long and at the end of the holidays you feel more tired and stressed than relaxed.
The solution: Make plan and include yourself in it. It’s really stressful when you have to do so many things on a short notice so the best thing you can do is to prepare a plan and do the most important things first. And make sure to leave some free time just for yourself. Holidays are meant to be time for relaxation and spending time with your family and friends. Be sure that you have 2-3 days that you can use only for yourself. Spend a day in bed just doing nothing or devote time to some other favorite activities that help you relax. After a week of meeting people, going over all the shopping malls and preparing gifts maybe you just need to sit down and relax.
You have to travel and this makes you extremely uncomfortable
The Problem: You have to travel during your holidays and most of the time you experience anxiety attacks during your traveling. And that makes you really nervous.
The Solution: Traveling can be a real obstacle for people suffering from anxiety. And still this is something you should do if you want to see your friends and family during the holidays. Use some simple tricks to calm yourself during the travel. Make sure to get an interesting book, a game or your favorite music to be with you during your travel. This will help you to calm down and not focus on the possibility of having an anxiety attack. Plan your trip carefully. Book your tickets for hours during the day that are supposed not to be so busy. Choose your seat – if you are afraid of heights and you will have to fly don’t choose a seat next to the window. An aisle seat is maybe the most comfortable option – you will be away from the window and you can easily get up and move around. Practice your breathing. Before the day that you have to travel practice your breathing techniques. You can also take time and practice meditation. Be sure that you had enough sleep the day before your travel.
Holiday season is maybe the most wonderful time of the year but it can also be stressful. Just take some time and look after yourself to be sure that the pressure will not affect you in any negative way.
Follow these tips, make some coping cards to help ease your worries, and work on coping with your anxiety.