The holiday season is upon us, and whether you’re a fan or not of the festivities, it’s hard to deny that they can be stressful. A lot is going on, whether you’re hosting an event, traveling to visit family members far away, or just trying to keep up with all the holiday shopping and cooking. Luckily, there are ways you can manage your anxiety levels while still having fun.
Finding a way to disconnect
Take a break from social media! This can be a great way to keep up with what’s going on in your friends’ lives, but it can also become a source of stress. If you can’t get away from it all during the holidays, try changing your settings so that only certain people can message or post on your page. Or, consider taking an actual break from social media altogether by deleting the apps from your phone for a few days (or just making sure not to check them when many other things are going on).
It’s also important to take some time for yourself when anxiety is high. If it feels appropriate, take some time alone at home so that no one else needs anything from you and no obligations are weighing you down at every turn. You might even enjoy having some quiet time with yourself—it may help reduce tension and give all those positive emotions room to grow!
Recognize the triggers
One of the most critical steps in managing your anxiety is recognizing what triggers it. If you know what stresses you out, you can start developing coping mechanisms for managing those stressors.
For example, suppose your relationship with family members is causing stress and anxiety during the holidays. In that case, you must take the time to learn how to cope without resorting to self-medicating methods (like alcohol or drugs). It would be best to consider how your physical health affects your mental state. Are there any medical conditions that might be aggravated by stress? Perhaps now would be a good time for a checkup!
If possible, try keeping a journal where you write down situations that cause anxiety so that when they come up again later down the road. You won’t forget them—this will help prevent overreactions from happening again later.
Creating a routine
Control over what happens in your day and how it unfolds can help you feel more confident and secure. Creating a routine is an integral part of managing your anxiety.
First, it would be best to get enough sleep each night. If you’re not sleeping enough (or if you’re sleeping too much), this can cause anxiety or make it worse.
Second, eat healthy meals regularly throughout the day. You’ll be less likely to feel stressed out or overwhelmed if your body is getting all the fuel it needs from healthy food instead of snacks like junk food or soda pop! It also helps to drink water throughout the day so that your body stays hydrated; dehydration can cause headaches and other symptoms of stress on top of whatever else might be happening with your health right now!
And, exercise regularly by doing activities such as walking around outside in nature, playing sports with friends, riding bikes through nearby neighborhoods, and dancing at home alone with music blasting through headphones (make sure there’s no one else in earshot first, though), etc. These are all great ways to get moving while having fun simultaneously! You’ll probably notice how much better our bodies feel when we do these things regularly—not just physically but mentally too! They make us happier people overall.
Looking out for yourself
It’s important to know what you need. If that sounds like a vague and unhelpful piece of advice, it’s not meant to be. What I mean is this: if you usually don’t eat before going out for dinner, Still, your anxiety makes you want to avoid being in public places this time. Consider making an exception and having something small beforehand—don’t feel guilty about it! You’re taking care of yourself first here because that’s what self-care means. Your needs matter as much as anyone else’s—and they should be treated as such.
This principle also applies when dealing with others who may have expectations regarding how you behave during the holidays (or any other time). If someone expects or hopes that you will help at their house during the holiday season, for example, but this makes your anxiety worse than usual and puts too much pressure on you mentally or physically, then respectfully decline their offer by saying something like “Sorry! “I’m going through some stuff right now; I’d love to help out later, though!”
Set aside your expectations.
It’s common to feel anxious during the holidays, but it is essential to remember that your life is not just a competition. No points are given for the perfect Christmas tree or the most fantastic dinner party.
If you feel inadequate or stressed out by how things are going, reflect on your expectations before you begin. Did you expect everything to go perfectly? Did you expect everyone in your family would love your gift? Did you even know their interests before buying a present for them? We often don’t know what our loved ones want until they open our gifts; we can only guess based on past experiences and shared interests.
If someone does not react exactly as expected (for example, by being polite and thanking us for something), this does not mean that person does not care about us or appreciate our gestures of kindness—it just means we cannot predict how people will respond 100% of the time.
Hopefully, these tips will help you manage your anxiety during the holidays. Remember that it’s okay if things don’t go according to plan—it happens to everyone. And if the worst does happen, remember that you are not alone in your struggle and that many resources are available to help you find peace of mind during this stressful time of year.