It’s supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year”—but is it really? I guess the answer to this question depends on who you ask. Some people love the holidays and surrounding themselves with friends, family and carrying on traditions. While the magic of the holidays can bring out the best in many people, it also can trigger anxiety in others. Let’s face it, crowded stores, holiday travel, parties, seeing friends and family, spending money, reminders of loved ones lost and simply being out of routine can amp up anxiety. If the holidays don’t bring out your best side it’s okay, self-awareness is power and power promotes change. Here are some tips to beat holiday anxiety:
Lower your expectations: Unfortunately, life does not always play out like a Hallmark Christmas movie. Many people set the holiday bar so high that the outcome is not achievable. Be realistic, your family might not always get along and your turkey might not resemble Martha Stewart’s! NO HOLIDAY WILL BE PERFECT.
Read my blog on Dealing with people you can’t stand 😉 -It happens!
Routine: Routines often get thrown off during the holiday season. Many travel or entertain guests in their home. Both will affect the flow of your day. Remember that this is temporary and you will soon be back into the swing of things. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of this perspective.
Be in the moment: Being in your head takes you out of the moment. Worrying is not productive. It causes people to miss what is right in front of them. Try and be aware of your surroundings and take in the good things around you. Put your phone down a little more and send your “what if” thoughts on a vacation. You deserve some peace!
Focus on the good: Yes, you may encounter some jerk at the store, yes, you may have to attend a dreaded holiday party, yes, you may spend more money than budgeted, and yes, you may have to see a relative that you cannot stand. If these situations are inevitable you might as well go with it. For every jerk at the store there is always someone who goes above-and-beyond, if you must attend that holiday party at least there will be some food, you may spend a little more than expected but you can build back up after the holiday; and even if you can’t stand that certain relative it will be over before you know it.
You are not alone if the holidays cause your anxiety to skyrocket. A Little Counseling hopes these tips will serve you well during the holidays.