Dealing with Anxiety During the Holidays

 Many people find the holidays to be the most meaningful and joyful times of the year because they bring friends and family together and create good memories. Warmth, love, laughter, and the embracing of new family members fight the outside chills of winter well during this time.  

   Others may see this time of year as frightening or uncomfortable, with many confrontations. Christmas may not be as pleasant as it once was, relationships with certain family members may be strained, and the joy of the season may simply serve as a continual reminder of all those changes.

  People may struggle with the uncertainty that comes with family gatherings, festivities, or catching up with old friends or relatives. Some people may suffer nervousness, anxiety, or an elevated heart rate as a result of their body’s fear of negative events occurring.

    Because of the nature of families and friendships, as well as the fact that we are fighting a pandemic, our Christmas season will be very different. We may not be able to get together and unite like we did in previous years, which might be heartbreaking to many. 

   Before coming to any holiday gathering that makes you worried, you might want to give yourself a little pep talk. It may seem silly, but telling yourself things like “I can do this!” and “I’m going to be OK!” might help you focus on the positive rather than the negative.

   Creating a mental note of conversation starters ahead of time might make you feel more involved and less alone. Some topics to discuss with your friends and family include their New Year’s resolutions or what they’re looking forward to in the next year. By asking questions, the attention is drawn away from you and the pressure is relieved.

   You may assume that others are just focused on you, but the fact is that they are most likely curious about your thoughts about them. If you flatter others and make them feel good, you will feel good in their presence. Everyone will be less stressed as a result of this.

   But, let’s face it, grownups may be difficult to have a conversation with at times. There’s a good possibility there will be small nieces and nephews at a family gathering, and you can connect with them if you’re afraid. Children are simply concerned with being entertained and do not judge you, so participate in their fun if you need a break.

   You ask yourself a lot of unwanted questions when you have social anxiety. What if I’m eating and others are staring at me? What if I talk too much? What if I don’t say anything? The best thing you can ever do is let go of what you can’t control. Nothing needs to be flawless; family is messy and unpredictable, and perfection should not be expected.

   It’s fine if Christmas isn’t the wonderful fantasy depicted in Hallmark movies. Make the most of the day by enjoying the food and decorations and allowing yourself to relax. You’ve earned it.

   Although some of the information above may be useful in coping with fears or anxiety, if you’re having trouble, get professional help, which might be the nicest Christmas present you could give yourself.