The Holidays can be a time of high-highs and low-lows. Our collective anxiety increases with the expectations that come with this time of year. Family gatherings, holiday parties, and the uncertainty of the next year can create a mix of excitement and anxiety. Uncertainty and expectation are a breeding ground for increased anxiety.
The management of these feelings is the key to improving your Holiday experience. It is important for you to remember that these feelings are normal! Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. Instead of being frustrated about these feelings, try to develop mechanisms to move through them. Below are a few tools to get your through Holiday Anxiety:
Being surrounded by people can be exhausting. If you are spending the Holidays with family, friends, or others, give yourself small breaks from socializing. When you start to feel irritability arise, leave the room and spend a few minutes alone. This will help you keep your social battery charged.
If you start to feel anxious around this time of year, try to identify an outlet for these emotions. This can be anything ranging from venting to a close friend or taking long walks with music; whatever helps you feel calmer. Think of these outlets as a way to release some of the pressure from the expectations of this time of year.
Anxiety has a way of feeding on itself. When it starts to feel overwhelming, remind yourself that you are strong; you have gotten through this emotion before and you will do it again. Rather than blame yourself for feeling this way, be a comfort to yourself. If you start to feel lost in an anxiety spiral, stay grounded by speaking in a gentle, soft voice to yourself.
Emotions run high during the Holidays, so make sure you are caring for yourself in the process!
Written by Jessy Pucker, LMSW