H E Y F R I E N D
I'm not sure if I am the only one who finds themselves in complete disbelief that we are exactly a week away from Christmas. This has always been one of my favorite times of the year, but like most people, I have been feeling more anxious this season than past holiday seasons. As a therapist who works in the mental health field, anxiety has been the hot topic in my office and it seems to be the most used word when talking about the holidays with my clients. Whether the anxiety is in relationship with not knowing what the holidays are going to bring this year or it's the idea of hanging out with family that tends to pry too much, it seems that anxiety and the holidays tend to go hand in hand in general. So for today's post, I wanted to share some (hopefully helpful) simple tips to help manage those moments you feel the anxiety starting to rise.
1. I N D U L D G E
in the simple things that bring you joy, like baking and building a snowman (if you are in the north). This may sound like a weird way to manage your anxiety, but the truth is when we learn to indulge in the simple things during the holiday season, it brings a sense of joy and simplicity that anxiety makes us believe is unobtainable anymore. So whatever it is that brings you joy (as silly and as childish as it may seem) be sure to take time and indulge in it. When you start to feel anxious, go ahead and just start baking, throwing snowballs, or reading a good book by the fire.
2. S T E P A W A Y
if you find yourself becoming emotionally and/or mentally flooded this holiday season. In those moments of being flooded, it is important to remind yourself that it is perfectly ok to just take some time to step away and breathe. Often times during the holiday's we expect ourselves to constantly be around our family and loved ones, but the truth is family can be overwhelming. When we become overwhelmed we tend to struggle with anxiety more frequently, so finding a quiet time when you start to feel flooded can be a way to manage anxiety this holiday season.
3. D I S C O N N E C T
from your electronics and social media these next couple of weeks, which may sound kind of crazy. Hear me out though. I am not suggesting to stay off everything the whole break but making sure we take time throughout the break to disconnect every once and a while. If disconnect from our electronics and social media throughout the break, we are more likely to connect to those who are actually around us and we will stay present in the moment. Disconnecting helps manage our anxiety as we aren't consumed completely with our screens and social media and what others are doing, which is often a major cause in dealing with anxiety.
Finally friends, the last thing to try when you start to feel anxious this holiday season is
4. F O C U S
on some things that you are thankful for this season. When we learn to focus (or refocus) on things we are thankful for it can help take our mind off what is making us anxious. It is important to learn how to be thankful and to stay present in the moments we are combating anxiety. Anxiety often tries to get our minds and emotions focused on future things we often can't control or have no say over. Learning to focus on things you are thankful for and what's happening in the present can really help lower feelings of anxiousness and the possibility of anxiety attacks.
Hopefully, these few simple strategies will help you enjoy this holiday season to the full capacity you so deserve. Anxiety is a tricky thing that can often take a lot from us, but I am believing that by practicing some of the things mentioned in this post you won't have too much taken from you. My friend I pray that this holiday season is one filled with moments of laughter, moments of rest, and moments of peace.
M E R R Y + C H R I S T M A S
until next time friend