The holidays usually bring never-ending events and social gatherings. This year, things are a little different. And you might even find yourself missing the hustle and bustle of holidays past. Unfortunately, this means symptoms of anxiety can be exasperated, which can lead to your holiday season feeling less than enjoyable.
Not only can the anxiety ruin the holidays, but it can also make everyday life more difficult. If this sounds like you, realize that there are many things you can do to help relieve your anxiety so that you can enjoy the holidays more.
5 Ways to Relieve Anxiety During the Holidays
What can you do to reduce or eliminate anxiety during the holidays?
Get Some Sunlight
Go outside or buy a therapy light. Many people experience SAD or seasonal depression during the holidays that can produce anxiety.
Seriously! Just 30 minutes of sunshine (or the happy light, which is a way to get simulated sunlight from a full spectrum UV free 10,000 lux bulb) is also a great way to take a break when you are feeling stressed. Go outside and take a short walk, soak in the sun, or plugin that happy light every day that there is no sunshine.
Don’t Change Your Daily Routine
Don’t change your daily routine just because the holiday season is here. Beyond seeing family more, or adapting the way you’d see them normally, there is no reason to change it up too much. If you have to change it a little, be sure to include the things that are important to your daily life. Don’t skip out on the daily meditation, exercise, or self-care as these the things that are known to reduce stress.
Set Realistic Expectations
Change your perspective and expectations for the holidays. The more you expect something to happen, the more chances for disappointment that can make your anxiety worse. Free your expectations and even talk with friends and family to make sure you understand their expectations of you. That way, nothing is a big surprise.
If it feels overwhelming, be honest, and tell them. It’s your responsibility to let others know your expectations of them and what is causing you to be unhealthy and full of anxiety. You might even find that your anxiety produced expectations on you that were never there in the first place.
Holidays are the perfect time to be more generous to others as well as to yourself. If you are feeling overwhelmed, pamper yourself with a treat or massage, and treat someone you love while you’re doing it. Offering yourself to others makes you feel good and can lessen the symptoms of anxiety by putting the focus on others.
Don’t Strive for Perfection
Perfection doesn’t exist. Don’t strive for it. This will ruin your holidays. Dinnertime, playtime, or certain family events will most likely not go as planned, and this is okay. It is only normal. The more you learn to accept it, the less likely you will disappoint yourself in the end.
Don’t allow anxiety to control your life or ruin the joy of the holidays for you or anyone else. You deserve to enjoy yourself this holiday season!