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.
I work with people in so many different ways in my practice! I see individuals, groups, couples and families who are all needing support in making positive changes. Regardless of who I am working with, it is rare for me to meet anyone who isn't struggling with anxiety in one form or another. Anxiety incorporates many different emotions and behaviors that ultimately stem from an underlying feeling of fear. In order to reduce anxiety, we need to figure out how to face and embrace our fears head on. Easier said than done, right? In therapy you can learn ways to think differently about your fears so that you can feel more in control.
Happy holidays from your friendly therapist,