With the holidays upon us, it means our schedules are busier, and our free time becomes more limited.
Many of us enjoy the holidays, but it does become a time when social anxiety can become ruthless.
How to manage anxiety
- Say no, and stick to it.
- Avoid talking about religion or politics.
- Pick a few people to talk to.
- Find time to de-stress.
- Don't try to impress everyone.
- Go outside when things are getting too much.
- Make sure you park where you aren't going to be blocked in.
1.Saying no, and stick to it.
If you don't want to go to a park, say no. Especially if you already have a jam-packed week of parties and social gatherings.
2.Avoid talking about religion or politics.
These kinds of topics can get out of hand quickly, especially when you have two completely different opinions.
Unless you are 100% comfortable with everyone around you, just avoid discussing this type of stuff.
3.Pick a few people to talk to.
You don't have to be a social butterfly. Find a few people to talk to that you know you share similar interests with.
Mingling with everyone at a party just isn't my cup of tea.
4. Find time to de-stress.
If you are going to your parents' house for the holidays and your boyfriend/spouse/friend parents' house, make sure you give yourself enough of a break before each party.
This might mean showing up late, but better late than about to go into a full-blown panic attack.
5. Don't try to impress everyone.
Realistically, this will never happen. It's also a lot of work just trying to, and leaves you feeling drained and unhappy.
6. Go outside when things are getting too much.
If your anxiety is really getting the best of you, excuse yourself and go outside. A nice little walk or just some fresh air can do wonders!
7. Make sure you park where you aren't going to be blocked in.
One last tip involves parking during holiday get-togethers. Find a parking spot that you won't get blocked in.
This helps in case you need to make a quick getaway.
The last thing yo want to do is have to ask someone to move their care while you are on the verge of a meltdown.
Holiday Social Anxiety FAQ
Speaking from a personal perspective, social anxiety is a fear of talking to others, disappointing people, or just overwhelmed by all the social gatherings.
*Hint: if you are introverted, like me, then you probably also have social anxiety or have had it int the past.
During the holidays, our commitments are a lot bigger, so social anxiety can rear its ugly head a lot more frequently.
It might show up as higher reactivity to situations that normally wouldn't phase you, or just not having enough energy for everything.
This will really depend on you. If its a party with a lot of close friends of yours, definitely go!
If it's a work party and you don't have many work friends, opt out.
You know yourself best, and putting yourself into a position that is going to be uncomfortable is always a gamble.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America offers a few great tips to de-stress during the holidays by not setting your expectations too high. With that, not biting off more than you can chew (metaphorically, of course).
Also, avoid alcohol during these stressful times as it can actually make your anxiety worse.
Wishing all my introverted friends out there a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays for those of you who are celebrating a different holiday.
We will get through this, remember to take deep breaths and know you are not alone!
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