The holidays can be a time of relaxation and joy, when you can spend quality time with your loved ones and reflect on the past year. They can also be stressful and full of anxiety, however, especially if you’re traveling out of town or will be having family members come to stay with you. It can be difficult to maintain a routine during the holidays, which is one of the biggest triggers for anxiety attacks, and it’s also hard for many people to relax when they have a full schedule.
Fortunately, there are some simple ways you can manage your anxiety during the holidays that will help you take a deep breath and enjoy yourself. It takes a little planning and some help from a friend or loved one, but if you’re prepared you’ll be able to tackle anything that comes your way during the holiday season.
Here are some of the best ways to get started.
Have a good plan
Being prepared for your anxiety will help you manage it in the moment, and that can help you get through just about any difficult situation. Having a good plan in place means talking to a trusted friend or loved one who can help you get out of any exchange that makes you uncomfortable, researching and practicing coping methods such as breathing techniques that will help you relax, and sticking with a routine as closely as possible to help yourself stay calm. Read on here for the best ways to boost your mood.
Keep your expectations realistic
One of the best ways to keep your anxiety at bay is to keep your expectations from getting out of control. If you can manage them and remember that not everything always goes according to plan, you’ll be able to relax a bit and keep your stress levels low. It might help to have a backup plan for important events, such as Christmas parties.
It can be very helpful to think ahead before any holiday event, especially if you’re in addiction recovery. You might want to prepare a response in case someone asks why you’re not drinking, or think about how you’ll keep well-meaning people from handing you a cup full of holiday spirit. One of the easiest ways to do this is to bring your own drink, or always have a bottle of water in your hand. Not only will this prevent awkward questions, it will keep your hands occupied and help you keep temptation at bay. For more great tips on creating a game plan for your sobriety, read this helpful article.
Stay on schedule
It can be hard to keep to a routine when you’re traveling or have people staying in your home, but it’s important to try for the sake of your anxiety. Even something as small as keeping up your bedtime rituals–brushing your teeth, washing your face, reading from a good book–can help you feel better and face the next day with renewed energy.
Being disorganized can really ramp up your anxiety, so plan ahead for as much as you can, and have a backup plan for anything super important, such as traveling. Taking flights during the holidays can be harrowing, but if you have a good plan you’ll have peace of mind, as well. Make packing lists, confirm your travel itinerary, arrange for transportation at your destination, and look for flights that leave early in the morning, as airports tend to be less crowded during this time.
Remember to practice self-care during this time, as it can be hard on you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Get enough sleep, stay hydrated, eat well-balanced meals, and get in some exercise as often as possible.
By: Jennifer Scott – Contributing Writer