Happy Holidays from Levana at Silverlinings! ⛄️❄️?
As a therapist who helps people with anxiety everyday, I can assure you that this time of year is often particularly difficult. There are anxiety triggers everywhere for every type of anxiety... More social situations, more time spent with family, more spending, more traveling, more eating, more drinking, etc. Our anxiety can be intensified with all of the "mores" that we are faced with. It can be a challenge to take a step back and listen to what we really need. As difficult as it is, setting boundaries ahead of time can lessen the stress that you experience over the holidays. Here are some tips that may be useful during this holiday season:
Plan ahead: If you know that you have parents, siblings, cousins and grandparents expecting to see you, the feelings of pressure and obligation can sour an otherwise nice visit with people you love. Set up a schedule for who you will see and when, and if possible try to get everyone in one place!
Know your coping tools: When you have anxiety, especially social anxiety, you know that social gatherings feel more like work than fun. Think about what normally helps you when you are anxious. Some breathing exercises and grounding techniques are easy to do and no one will know you are doing them!
Self Care: Know your limits and when you've reached them. Set boundaries when necessary. Make sure that you have some spare time everyday for a bit of relaxation so that you can recoup your energy for the next event.