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Ways to Ease Anxiety During the Busy Season
The holidays come with a lot of stress, which is caused by several factors like traveling, hosting and catering for large crowds of people among other things. There are people who deal with anxiety at this time because of all the activities going on or financial difficulty and as a result, sleep may suffer greatly ending up in your expectations for the holiday season not synchronizing with the reality in your life. Whatever the reason for your anxiety may be, the symptoms are likely to increase and get out of control during the holidays and some people often choose to ignore talking to their doctor or looking for help when their anxiety increases. They might feel like it is a normal thing to feel anxious and consequently feel that they somehow need to live through it or they might even feel like there really is no help available for them. Here is what you can do to control your anxiety during the busy holiday season.
- Take some time to give back to the community or to society. You can do this by helping anyone that may need assistance or through volunteering for a local organization. Helping another person will make you feel a lot better and it will remind you of what the holiday season truly means.
- Lower your expectations for the season and keep them realistic with the situation. As opposed to spending more money than you need to or can afford, confine your purchases to a planned budget. Accept whatever relationship you have with your family instead of believing that the reunion this year will be great and spend some time at home instead of spending them at various holiday functions. Enjoy quality quiet time with your loved ones.
- Get plenty of rest by catching up on your sleep every night. Avoid the temptation to spend extra time at events or parties with the intention of still getting up early for work the next morning. If you do not get proper rest anxiety attacks can happen more often.
- Keep up with a healthy lifestyle by starting or continuing with an exercise program and eating healthy is essential for curbing anxiety attacks.
- Don’t get angry at the long lines but initiate a conversation with someone else in the line and proceed to wish them a healthy and happy holiday. This can help spread the holiday’s spiritual meaning and bringing someone else a smile could also improve your mood.
- Exercise listening and communication skills by repeating back what someone has said to you so they can know you’ve heard them among other methods. If a conversation is becoming too stressful for anyone in the room including yourself- gently change the topic.
- If you feel uncomfortable, limit the time you spend at holiday parties. Being there is more important than the amount of time you spend there. Sometimes all that matters is showing up; come late and excuse yourself early.
- Try to keep away from alcohol as it can elevate anxiety symptoms
- To provide support, bring a friend with you to holiday parties.
- If you are traveling to visit relatives by car, drive at off-peak hours to avoid traffic. Rest during the day and drive after dinner as opposed to driving during the day.
- When driving, take your time and do so at a safe speed. Avoid using your phone when driving and give right of way to a driver who’s being aggressive.
- If you will be traveling by air, schedule flights during off-peak hours, ensure you check with the airport for any scheduling changes and give yourself lots of time to get to the airport.
- Keep in mind that airport delays are usually safety measures that are done to make sure all the travelers stay safe during their journey.
- If you frequently get anxiety attacks tell a friend that you might be calling them during the course of your trip for support; they might be able to talk to you and find ways to keep you calm.
- If you will not be visiting family and there are none in the area, talk to friends and co-workers to find out who is also in a similar situation and ask if they might like to have a holiday dinner together.
- Reach out and talk to someone if you are feeling lonely whether it is by phone or in person for a social event. Don’t sit at home alone feeling depressed and lonely.
- Check your local newspaper for holiday events and concerts which you may find to be free or low cost typically and can fit into anybody’s budget. You could take your family to any community events you go to which will make you feel part of the community and you might enjoy some quality time with your family.
- Take some time from the holiday events to spend a quiet evening by yourself at home or watch a movie with your family. The holidays are for spending time with those you love after all.
- Plan ahead if you will be entertaining or taking any shopping trips. Last minute scrambling to buy cooking supplies or get gifts is the last thing you want for anxiety. Make use of lists and have a reason for shopping trips.
- Acknowledge and accept your feelings whether it is sadness or anxiety because there might be a legitimate reason as to why you are feeling what you are feeling. Use methods like deep breathing among other relaxation techniques to calm down.