Saturday, November 1, 2014

#Anxiety & The Holidays - What You Need to know!


As you know, I'm a huge advocate for getting the word out about anxiety. But did you know that holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving can actually make anxiety worse, in some retrospect? A lot of people don't know why. In fact, I didn't know why until we learned that Twin had severe anxiety.

Those with anxiety crave routines. With a routine, someone who anxiety will know how to handle a slight hiccup instead of a major catastrophe. When the holidays come around, their routines are thrown for a loop and they don't know how they're going to handle it.What do you do for someone you know who suffers? Do what my family does - small routines and things to do to keep the mind busy. Choose every day things to add to a routine (like wrapping gifts or baking treats) so that when it comes time to make big dinners or wrapping last minute gifts, the anxiety sufferer will feel more confident in doing those things.

For someone with social anxiety, being at a holiday get-together is their nightmare come true. Let them be a wallflower. Don't throw them into the lion's den (so to speak). Pushing them too far could actually break them. Let them socialize on their own. If you have anxiety, don't feel like you have to mingle. You can answer any questions, but only if you feel comfortable enough.

If you suffer, don't feel like you have to make the tree or the decorations perfect for fear of critique. Let your creative juices flow, and decorate how you want it to look. If it makes you happy to have lights on the porch instead of the bushes, go for it!

When it comes to giving gifts, this is probably one of those where their anxiety level is pretty high. They fear rejection of the gift. If you don't like it, don't say, "I hate this!". That is one way to drive the anxiety higher, and that is dangerous. They may never give gifts again. Instead, don't lie and say you love it. Just find one thing you actually like about the gift and you will eventually learn to love the gift.
Example of Christmas Zentangle (Created by Mariska den Boer 69)

For general anxiety attacks during the holidays not directly related to a situation, you can listen to Christmas music, watch a Christmas movie, go online window shopping, or create a Christmas zentangle! (By the way, zentangles have helped Twin when she is having a bad anxiety day.)

Oh, and if you are a friend of someone who suffers from an degree of anxiety and it's worse during the holidays, just be there for them!

For those that suffer, if you need to talk about your holiday anxiety, talk about it with a trusted friend. You may get a fresh perspective that may ease your mind.

28 comments:

  1. Such a happy time but it can also be a really stressful time too. We need to remember to have self care in the holiday times!

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  2. My husband loves decorating and love baking so we focus on those. I also get the kids involved too.

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  3. Such a great post. Very informative for me. I love listening to Christmas music.

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  4. This was very informative. I don't get anxious, but I know some people who do this time of the year.

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  5. I suffer from terrible anxiety but unusually enough not about Christmas. I am so organised this year and it's a time I really look forward to. I just wish I could muster up the strength to go Christmas shopping on my own... driving to the city and walking amongst the Christmas crowds by myself, now that does give me awful anxiety :(

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  6. Such a wonderful post, thank you so much. The holidays are definitely a fun time but stressful as well. It's really all about family and being there for each other :)

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  7. Thanks so much for sharing. Christmas music and window shopping work for me every time.

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  8. Holidays are my favorite time of year but I can totally see how it increases anxiety for others! Thanks for the tips!

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  9. The Holidays stress me out SO bad! There is just not enough time to get things done!

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  10. I had a friend with anxiety. Holidays was always the hardest on her. Music always soothed her.

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  11. I'm hoping my husband doesn't get TOO stressed out during our holiday travels this year. He seems to get worked up over the smallest things, and there's often nothing I can do about it to fix it :(

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  12. I do experience anxiety attacks during Holidays but not too much that I can't handle it :)

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  13. Holiday anxiety is the worse. It is good to know all of this and will share it with some of my friends who have family members with anxiety.

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  14. Anxiety attacks aren't fun. I know that this time of year is stressful. When I get stressed too much, my muscles tense up.

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  15. I think we have to sort of go with their lead because they often know how best to deal with their anxiety issues. I usually sleep mine away.

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  16. Christmas is always a busy time at home. We enjoy it all!

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  17. I stress over the dumb things, like - is my house clean enough to host Christmas! My family could care less if there are a couple piles of laundry and a smudge or 3 of peanut butter on the fridge. Why do I have to stress over it?!

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  18. I never thought about anxiety and the holidays! Thanks for letting everyone know to deal with it.

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  19. I am a very level headed person, I never get those anxiety attacks people talk about!

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  20. I think you're right, if it makes you happy do it. Relaxing is probably hard for those prone to stress and anxiety...esp. during the holidays.

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  21. I have crazy anxiety normally but around the holidays it's totally amplified! Love this post!

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  22. The stress of the Holidays always makes my anxiety worse. I try to as much shopping online as i can to avoid the crowds.

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  23. Yup, this time of year makes me anxious. Not sure that I have any coping mechanisms. I just plow through it.

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  24. Sad that many go through this. Hopefully, most can confide in someone so they don't have to go through this alone!

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  25. I'm glad your twin found away to manage her anxiety. Keep up the good work supporting your sister with her mental health.

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  26. Great post. I agree that the holiday season causes anxiety for a lot of people because there is a lot of pressure and everyone's busy. I hope that your post helps those who suffer from this. Xo

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  27. As someone who suffers from anxiety - thank you for posting this! It is a serious issue, and one people often overlook!

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  28. Thank you for nice article and good ideas-holidays can be way too busy and stressful.

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