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Dealing with Holiday Anxiety and Finding Joy

Woman beating holiday anxiety and finding joy

The holiday season is often joyful, but it can also be difficult for many people. When you have anxiety, the holidays can be even more challenging than usual. With holiday stress, a calendar of social commitments, family gatherings, and the pressure that comes with the season, your anxiety may be at its worst, making it hard for you to enjoy this time of year.

If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health or substance misuse this holiday season, contact Vertava Health at 888.601.8693. Our addiction treatment center and other treatments may be able to help you learn how to deal with holiday anxiety and other issues.

Holiday Anxiety Symptoms

The holidays can trigger and exasperate several anxiety symptoms, including:

• Racing heart or palpitations

• Shaking or trembling

• Sweating or feeling hot

• Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

• Feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or faint

• Nausea and stomach discomfort

• Headaches or body aches

• Insomnia and difficulty sleeping

• Feeling overwhelmed, fearful, or on edge

• Difficulty concentrating or focusing on tasks

• Feeling disconnected from others or unable to connect with loved ones

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms during the holiday season, it is important to seek support and talk to your doctor or mental health professional right away. You can also use many strategies to manage holiday anxiety and cope with your symptoms.

How to Deal with Holiday Anxiety

Instead of letting your anxiety during the holidays ruin your spirit, there are ways of dealing with it, so it doesn’t overwhelm you. As providers of behavioral health services, we are sharing tips on coping with holiday anxiety so that you can still enjoy this time of year.

Change Your Expectations

Sometimes anxiety stems from high expectations. Although the holidays are supposed to be a wonderful time of year, having a picture-perfect holiday season is unrealistic. This mindset will likely leave you feeling anxious and may cause you to take on more than you can handle. Rather than striving for the ideal holiday season, change your expectations to be more aligned with what is realistic. When you can meet your expectations and stop stressing about everything needing to be perfect, you are more likely to enjoy the moment and reduce your anxiety.

Say No

A packed schedule with social events and family gatherings can be anxiety-inducing for many. While you might feel pressured by others to attend or participate, you need to put your mental health first. If your number of holiday commitments overwhelms you, you can change your mind. If you struggle with social anxiety during the holidays, be mindful of your limits and turn down invitations that make you uncomfortable. If you went through co-occurring disorder treatment and are now in early recovery, you may want to say no to events with triggers, situations, or environments. Instead, choose a couple of activities or events that you genuinely enjoy.

Avoid Drugs and Alcohol

When dealing with anxiety over the holidays, many people are tempted to turn to drugs and alcohol. While these substances may help temporarily relieve stress and anxiety, they can make your anxiety worse or lead to depression as well.

Practice Self-Care

One of the best ways of dealing with holiday anxiety is to practice self-care. Although the holidays may be busier than usual, it is essential that you still take care of yourself, or else your anxiety will only get worse. Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep each night. All these healthy habits are proven to benefit your mental health and may reduce your holiday anxiety significantly.

Work On Stress Management

Finding an effective way to manage stress during the holidays can help drastically decrease your holiday anxiety and prevent your symptoms from worsening. Some stress-relieving activities include journaling, yoga, and meditation. Combining these techniques works best for you rather than only doing one.

Determine A Budget

The holidays can also be an expensive time of year and cause financial concerns for many. If your holiday finances give you anxiety, make a budget and stick to it. Knowing precisely what you can and cannot afford can help you keep your spending under control and relieve your anxiety about money over the holidays.

Find Support with Others

Dealing with holiday anxiety is not something you need to do alone. If you are experiencing anxiety because you are overwhelmed, ask a friend or family member for help. You may also find that being social with people you trust can go a long way toward easing anxiety. Even phone calls and video chats can be helpful if you cannot see each other in person.

Manage Holiday Anxiety at Vertava Health

If you struggle to deal with holiday anxiety on your own, you may need professional help. While these tips on holiday anxiety relief may be beneficial for some people, more severe anxiety may require more attention. Formal mental health treatment can teach you new techniques to cope with anxiety and may advise you on medicine to decrease symptoms. At Vertava Health, we want to help people facing substance use and mental health troubles find relief and improve their quality of life. Contact us today at 888.601.8693 to learn more about how we may be able to help you.