Skip The Holiday Stress This Year
Have a plan
If you have difficulty around food or if drinking is a concern, skip a party or get together. Alternatively, go with someone who understands and can act as a support. Have a plan in place that you will go for a short time and then leave.
Schedule your Time.
Be realistic. The holiday season is likely too short to catch up with every person you haven’t seen in the past year. Don't overschedule. Even if you are lucky enough to have been invited to numerous holiday parties, recognize when you may need to turn down an invitation. Remember this is also your holiday, don’t forget to find time to relax.
If you are hosting a party or Christmas dinner, ask for help. Don’t leave your shopping until the day before Christmas. If malls are anxiety-provoking, try shopping online.
Don’t Expect Perfection
This goes back to my point about being realistic. If you know your family does not get along, expecting them to magically be different this Christmas is setting yourself up for disappointment. You will be better prepared to go into the situation with realistic expectations and a level of acceptance over things you cannot change. You are in control of yourself and your response to others, that is it.
Take Care of Yourself.
During the holidays, continue your regular self -care routine (for example: attending fitness classes, getting enough rest, journaling, going to therapy). These are important, especially during times when anxiety and depression tend to be exacerbated by external factors.
If you are struggling, talk to someone. If you have a family member or supportive friend, tell them what is going on, it doesn’t matter that it is the holidays and you are not feeling happy. If you do not have someone in your life, there are warm lines and crisis lines available 24/7. It is always better to reach out than to suffer alone.
If you are looking for a psychotherapist send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and let's discuss how I can help you.