As the holiday season approaches, the stress level increases for everyone. There is so much pressure associated with this time of joy: pressure to get the right gifts, to shop among the harried crowds, to attend the vast variety of festivities. Nearly everyone goes through some form of holiday stress and anxiety, but for people who already suffer from anxiety disorders, the festive season can be nearly unbearable.
If you find yourself becoming sick at the idea of attending the first holiday party, it would be wise to seek the aid of a mental health professional to address your anxiety concerns. They can help you find appropriate relief from your fears through specialized therapy. In the meantime, however, the following tips will help you work through this joyous, but stress-filled time:
- Get specific about your concerns and work toward solutions. If you’re worried about money, suggest a gift exchange instead of traditional gift-giving. If the holiday shopping crowds stress you out, complete your shopping online.
- Ask for help. If you’re worried about hosting dinner for your entire family, ask each member to bring a dish. If you’re concerned you won’t get the correct gifts, ask for suggestions.
- Let go of that perfect holiday image. Things never go exactly as planned. If you expect everything to be perfect you are bound to be disappointed and your anxiety will shoot off the charts. Set realistic expectations and you’ll enjoy the holidays much more.
- Treat yourself well. Pamper yourself and allow yourself to indulge. Work up a sweat through ice skating or other exercise. Physical exertion is a great aid in reducing stress at any time.
- Be choosy about the social engagements you attend. It’s not necessary to participate in all of them and it’s perfectly all right to attend only the parties with the people you’re most comfortable with.
- If you have lost a loved one – find a way to remember them. It may as simple as playing the person’s favorite music or visiting his or her grave (make sure to bring along family or friends who can help you cope).
Often, the holiday season brings joy but also holiday stress and anxiety. But with a little planning you can enjoy the season along with everyone else. For more information or for help in dealing with holiday stress and anxiety, call Dr. Andrew Rosen and The Center for Treatment of Anxiety Disorders in Delray Beach, Florida. They specialize in helping those who fear the holidays. Take the first step by calling 561-496-1094 or by emailing Dr. Rosen and The Center today.