Dealing with Anxiety Over the Holidays

No matter how the holidays are painted on TV ads and holiday cards, there can be no denying that it’s one of the most stressful times of the year for a majority of people. There always seems to be so much to do, and not very much time to do it in, and that can lead to anxiety becoming a real issue for a lot of people, even for people who don’t generally deal with anxiety. If you are someone who gets anxious over the holidays, it’s probably a time of year that you dread, but there are some things that you can do to bring the anxiety down a notch and make things a little easier on yourself. If you normally deal with anxiety outside of the holiday season, these ideas can also help you.
One of the best things that you can do is start shopping for presents early on in the year. Since you just started googling “how to handle anxiety over the holidays”, this blog post may have come too late and therefore some of these suggestions will be things you can set a reminder for yourself in years to come.
Shopping for presents early will actually reduce stress in a number of different ways. Perhaps the biggest impact it will have is that you won’t start stressing about money, as you can buy gifts when you have a little bit of money left over here and there. Too many people wait until the last minute to start shopping, and while they don’t always spend any more than those who start early, they tend to get hit with a massive credit card bill all at once.
Another big reason why people get anxious is when they are out in larger crowds. If you have ever been to the mall during the holidays, you are well aware that it tends to be a seething mass of people, all of whom seem stressed out to the max and common courtesy gets thrown out the window. Their anxiety can be infectious, and it can make your situation even worse if you are already stressed. This is another reason why getting the shopping done early is a great idea. If you can’t do it early, consider shopping online to relieve the stress and anxiety that comes with fighting large crowds.
There are many families who have a single person who hosts the holiday dinner/events every single year. While it’s nice to have guests in the home at the holidays, it can certainly lead to a spike in anxiety. This is especially true if the family dinner means having guests who don’t get along particularly well. If you know that you are going to have anxiety because of the family gathering, suggest that someone else take a turn, or simply keep it a smaller affair than it usually is.
If you want to avoid the possibility of an anxiety attack over the holiday season, learn to prepare whilst making things manageable. Don’t feel as though this is all something that you should take on yourself, which means having a spouse or the kids help shoulder some of the burden of the preparations. If they are aware of how anxious these types of situations make you feel, then they should be more than happy to help. Yes, we all have an idea of what the perfect holiday season looks like, but achieving it is usually impossible, so don’t stress out trying to do it.
For tips on how to handle anxiety while it is happening go to my other blog posts and click on the scroll down menu for “anxiety”. If you are using a handheld device, it should be at the very bottom of my blog section. If you are on a computer, it is on the right-hand side of the screen (it has a drop-down menu, where you can click on “anxiety”). Also keep an eye out for more posts of mine re: “handling anxiety” (not just over the holidays).

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