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10 Tips for Holiday Anxiety When You're Struggling With Anxiety, Panic Disorder, and Agoraphobia



The holidays can be a really tricky time of year, especially when you're struggling with anxiety, panic disorder, and agoraphobia. From difficult family relationships to traveling, it can be pretty stressful! And that's exactly why I want to share ten tips that will help you get through the holidays with much more peace and joy. So let's get into the tips!


10 Tips for Holiday Anxiety


01. Don't force yourself to go to a holiday event that you know is going to be terrible for you and your mental health.


First, I want you to remember that you can say no. You know yourself better than anyone. If it isn’t the right time to attend, it’s okay. It can be easy to forget that we have a choice this time of year due to outside pressure to attend all of the events. This is your reminder that you always have a choice, and you don’t have to go if it’s not right for you.

 

02. Set realistic expectations for holiday events.


It’s important to be realistic with ourselves, especially this time of year! And this might look like accepting that anxiety might pop up while you’re at holiday events. When we practice accepting anxiety’s presence, it becomes a whole lot easier to let anxiety be present without controlling our decisions. So remember, experiencing anxiety or uncomfortable emotions this holiday season isn’t a failure. It means you’re taking healthy action! 


03. Establish your boundaries before the event.


Creating healthy boundaries with others is one of the best things you can do to ensure that you experience more peace over the holidays! Communicating what others can expect from you is a great way to establish boundaries. This might look like telling the host how long you’ll be at the party or letting family know if there’s a particular topic that you will not discuss. 


04. Take breaks when you need them during holiday events.


Never underestimate the power of a quick walk! If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or stressed at a holiday event, don’t be afraid to take some time for yourself. After all, you deserve to enjoy the holiday season too! Taking a moment for yourself is a great way to recenter yourself during the holidays.


05. Prioritize daily self-care to manage anxiety consistently.


And not just around the holidays! Daily self-care is absolutely vital to protecting your mental health. And the best part of self-care is that it can look however you want it to! Some ideas might be stretching every day, reading, exercising, trying a new hobby, or any other activity that you do just for yourself.


06. Reduce exposure to social media, especially around the holidays!


This one is true for any time of year really! I always recommend taking time away from social media, especially this time of year. It can be easy to forget that social media is a curated highlight reel, and real life doesn’t work that way! These unrealistic portrayals only increase anxiety this time of year. So this is your sign to limit social media around the holidays! 


07. Communicate how others can support you.


This one was really difficult for me at first, too! Letting people support you is hard, but it’s so worth it. And this might come as a surprise, but the people who love you will want to help and be supportive. In fact, communicating your needs makes their job even easier! The best part is that you’ll feel even more supported by the people you love this holiday season. 


08. Recognize everyone's humanity, including your family and friends.


It can be tough to show compassion for difficult family members. We all have our imperfections and quirks, and remembering that this is true for others can really help us protect our peace. Most of the time these family members really do love and care for us. So if you’re planning to spend the holiday with family, remember that they’re human too! 


09. Allow yourself to feel and process emotions, even the difficult ones!


This is especially important during the holiday season! It's so important to practice accepting our emotions. It's perfectly normal to experience a range of emotions during this time of year.


10. Lean on your support system.


We all need some extra support from time to time! Seek support from trustworthy friends, family members, or even a therapist. And sometimes, it can be especially helpful to rely on yourself for support. Unfortunately, we don't always get the support we're looking for from others. But you can find that support within yourself by being kind to yourself or doing activities that you enjoy.


No matter what you are going through, the holidays can be a difficult time of year for many of us. I want you to remember to take care of yourself first and release the harsh expectations you might be putting on yourself this time of year.


Don't forget to listen to the full podcast episode for a bonus tip for this holiday season! And until next time, friend, keep taking healthy action!



 

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