The holiday season should be a time to relax and enjoy the company of family and friends, but for those struggling with social anxiety, it can be a nerve-wracking experience. The intense social activities that come with the holidays can be overwhelming, not to mention the pressures of buying the perfect gifts and attending multiple parties. Fortunately, there are ways to cope with social anxiety during the holiday season. Here are five simple strategies to help you manage and reduce holiday stress:
During the holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of constant busyness, which can lead to burnout, over-exhaustion, and stress. During this time of year, it’s common for people with social anxiety to avoid social activities due to fear of being negatively evaluated. However, when you’re not participating in social activities, you’re not receiving any social feedback, which can make your fear of being negatively evaluated even stronger. To break this cycle of avoidance, you may need to force yourself to do things you’re afraid of. When you’re faced with your fears, you’re able to gain more insight into your anxiety, which will help you cope with it in the future. It’s important to remember to take frequent breaks throughout the holidays. During this busy season, it’s important to take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals, and exercising. Doing so will help you manage the stress of the holidays and allow you to be your best self.
During the holiday season, it’s easy to set unrealistic expectations for yourself and become stressed out when you don’t meet those expectations. Take a step back and focus on accepting yourself and others for who they are. Remember, others are not judging you as harshly as you may think. No one is sitting around thinking about what you didn’t get done today or what outfit you wore yesterday. Everyone has their own stresses to deal with, so don’t take on the burdens of others. If you’re feeling extra anxious during the holiday season, try to find ways to focus on acceptance. When you’re able to accept yourself and others, you’ll be less likely to place an unrealistic amount of pressure on yourself and be less likely to feel shame and disappointment towards yourself when you don’t meet your own expectations. Instead, you can remind yourself that everyone has flaws and that’s perfectly normal. Focus on accepting yourself and others for who they are, and you may find that holiday stress is less intense.
Grounding techniques help you stay present in the moment and reduce anxiety. During the holiday season, there are many things that may trigger your anxiety and make you feel out of control, such as shopping, parties, and spending time with family. When you feel your anxiety beginning to spike, try to identify what is triggering it. Once you’ve identified the source of your anxiety, try to engage in grounding techniques to bring yourself back to the present and reduce your anxiety. Here are a few grounding techniques you can use: For example, when shopping for gifts, imagine that you’re shopping for a friend or loved one. When attending parties, imagine that you are watching a movie about yourself. These techniques can help you stay present and in control during the holiday season, no matter what situations arise.
The holiday season can be a stressful time for everyone, so take some time to reach out to those in your support system. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or someone from an online support group, it’s important to have someone you can reach out to during this stressful time. When you reach out to those in your support system, you are not only helping yourself, but also letting others know that they are not alone. This can help reduce feelings of isolation often experienced during the holiday season. Reaching out to others during the holiday season can help you feel less alone and more supported. This in turn can help you manage your social anxiety during the holidays.
During the holiday season, it can be easy to lose track of boundaries and put yourself last on the list. Try to plan ahead during the holiday season and set boundaries for yourself to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. For example, you may want to say “no” to certain social activities so you can have time to rest, relax, and enjoy a more low-key holiday season. You may also want to set up boundaries for how long you spend shopping or how much money you plan to spend. Planning ahead and setting boundaries for yourself can help you reduce holiday stress.
The holiday season can be a wonderful time of year when you’re able to relax and enjoy yourself. However, for those struggling with social anxiety, it can be a stressful and overwhelming time. The best way to cope with holiday stress is to try to relax, take breaks throughout the season, focus on acceptance, practice grounding techniques, and reach out for support. Additionally, it’s important to plan ahead and set boundaries to make sure you are taking care of yourself during this busy season. Overall, the holiday season can be enjoyable for everyone, but it’s important to be aware of your anxiety triggers and know how to cope with them.