It’s the week before the two biggest holidays of the year. And chances are you’re feeling…well…anxious. (We are too.)
To help you survive, we’ve put together a list of the six most important tips for surviving the holiday season with anxiety in tow.
P.S. Always remember that you’re not alone. Holiday anxiety is a real pain in the neck!
1. Put it in perspective.
The holidays are filled with inflated visions of a happy season. But for many, this is anything but true. To put it simply, the holidays can be a real bummer.
The best way to combat this is to take the time to put the holiday season in perspective. It’s OK to feel anxious, depressed and lonely during the holiday season.
Remember this: Life isn’t a Hallmark card. It’s life-holiday frustrations included. The sooner you acknowledge this concept, the easier the next two holiday weeks will be.
2. Step back when you need to.
The holidays perpetuate the anxious loop that we all struggle with. This is why it’s essential to step back and take a breath when you need to.
If Aunt Mary and cousin Tim are stressing you out, take a breather. Escape to another room or go for a quick drive. Do whatever it takes to clear your mind in a healthy manner. Your job is to take care of you.
3. Don’t try to be someone you’re not.
Do yourself a favor and lay off the need to appear/be/feel perfect. You’re not perfect — and neither is your cousin, mother, sister or best friend.
The truth of the matter is that trying to look/be/feel perfect adds a heck of a lot of unnecessary stress to the holidays. So what if you burn the casserole or show up to a party a few minutes late. You’re human.
4. Be realistic.
The image that the media portrays of the holidays is anything but realistic. That’s the cold, hard truth. However, you can choose to approach Christmas and New Year’s with a realistic expectation.
You already know what makes you feel anxious, sad or lonely. So think about this ahead of time and embrace it.
Give yourself a break and accept yourself as you are. You know what challenges you face on a daily basis. So be realistic about how much (and what) you can handle.
5. Stick to your routine.
We all know that the holidays can trip up a routine. But please try to stick with your norm. If you skip a workout or gorge on cookies, get back on the horse and keep on riding. Letting go of your own schedule will only make anxiety worse.
6. Try not to get caught up in other people’s “stuff.”
For many, the holidays come with drama. Unresolved family tensions can come to a head. This makes anxiety feel anything but manageable.
Make a pact with yourself that you won’t get caught up in other people’s “stuff.” If your cousin, mother, brother or dear old dad brings up a sore spot, don’t attach to it. Remind yourself of all of the progress that you have made in your life.
At the end of the day, the holidays can be challenging. But remember that this, too, shall pass. You’ve got this!
As always, we’d love to hear your feedback. After all, our best advice comes from our readers. What tips have you found to be helpful when it comes to managing holiday stress?