Anxiety, a response to perceived or anticipated threats, commonly known as stressors, can have a significant impact on our overall well-being and health. When anxiety becomes chronic or disproportionate to the actual threat, it can develop into an anxiety disorder, which can harmfully impact your life, causing some to take medication to treat such symptoms.
Excessive worry, irrational fear, and a range of physical and psychological symptoms can accompany anxiety disorders, affecting an individual's function in daily life, especially during this time of year, when some are more at risk of overworking themselves. While there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for anxiety, it is possible to address it holistically through impactful lifestyle changes to help prevent further symptoms from becoming worse.
Here are six essential ways to calm your anxiety and recenter during the holidays:
It’s important to step back and identify the things that make you emotionally overwhelmed or show more sensitivity in certain situations. It can be challenging to deal with anxious feelings, but it's essential to remember that they do not define you. By stepping back and recognizing that these feelings do not define you, you can regain control and avoid self-blame.
The holiday season can be a challenging time for many individuals, as it often involves navigating complex social situations that might make some people very uncomfortable. Prioritize your mental health by setting boundaries and learning to say no when necessary. Remember that you can choose which celebrations and traditions you participate in and if you feel comfortable being around certain people and situations that won’t trigger you. It's vital to respect your boundaries and avoid overextending yourself to everyone and everything.
Give yourself breathing room between all the parties you’ve been invited to, traveling plans, if any, or days of nonstop events and leisure. Try to stick to your routine. If you start your day practicing mindfulness and pouring it into your mental and emotional cup, then cherish it. If you need to take a day off to unwind and recenter yourself to avoid burnout, please grant yourself that day.
This time of the year can become busy for some people, especially those who celebrate the holidays, and increase their caffeine intake to keep up with it all. Keep in mind that some individuals may be more sensitive to caffeine than others, which can lead to increased feelings of anxiety and stress, causing you to feel more jittery than usual. It's crucial to consider your tolerance and make choices that align with your needs and well-being. If caffeine tends to make you feel anxious, reduce your intake. You could replace your regular coffee or energy drinks with decaffeinated coffee, herbal caffeine-free tea, or water.
When holiday shopping or planning family gatherings, remember to take it easy on yourself. It's best to avoid trying and tackling everything all at once. Spread your errands throughout the week to tackle your to-do list more clearly. Try asking your loved ones for help with cleaning, setting up decorations, and other tasks. By working together and taking things at a more manageable pace, you can create a calmer and more harmonious environment for everyone involved.
Remember, everyone's experience with anxiety is unique, so finding the right approach may require some trial and error. By exploring different strategies and seeking professional guidance, it is possible to manage anxiety and improve overall well-being.