Surviving the Holidays When You Have Anxiety

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If you are like me, you wonder how you will be surviving the holidays, again!! They are quickly creeping up on us once again and so is the stress that inevitably comes with them! 

Holidays can be tough on anyone! But when you have anxiety, it can be mentally devastating. This is often made worse when you are the one hosting!!

You have to not only deal with the “normal” anxiety that comes with being in a large group of people but when you are hosting you have all the logistics to deal with as well.

But there IS a way to survive the holidays without falling apart!

Surviving the Holidays When You Have Anxiety  This page/post may contain affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, as well as an affiliate of other programs, this means if you purchase something using these links, I will receive a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you! For more detailed information, please visit our Affiliate Disclaimer page

 

There IS a way to survive the holidays without falling apart when you have anxiety! #anxiety #holidays Click To Tweet

 

5 WAYS TO SURVIVE THE HOLIDAYS FOR THE PERSON WITH ANXIETY

 

1. SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS – SIMPLIFY!!!

Don’t feel like, just because you are hosting, that you have to do it all yourself.  Make it a potluck style dinner. Ask everyone to bring a dish. If you can afford to, have it catered! This will help free up some time for you to focus on other things!

Ask older children to help! If they are at an age where they can cook or bake, ask them to take on a task in the kitchen. If they can push a vacuum, give them one!

Ask your spouse for help! I can tell you from my own personal experience that when there is a gathering and we are stressed and busy our husbands try not to make things worse for us. Many times, men just don’t want to get in the way and stress us out even more. Give him permission to step in and help out.

When you ask people to help, whether with food or anything else, assign those tasks so there is no confusion. Creating a Facebook event and managing logistics there for everyone to see will make things easier. Uploading a spreadsheet in Google docs or another shareable platform is a great way to manage logistics like who is bringing what and goes a LONG way toward surviving the holidays and the endless gatherings! 

 


 

You can even ask someone else to manage that spreadsheet for you (might be a good job for hubby!). Put the types of food and supplies you need on the sheet and let people sign up for what they want to bring.  

 

2. SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS – GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO TAKE A BREAK!!

I know you think it might look rude but sometimes people with anxiety get overwhelmed in large groups. I know this is the case where I am concerned!

Surviving the holidays with anxiety sometimes means taking a few minutes to breathe alone in your room or outside can help recharge you. All you have to do is say excuse me, I have to step away for a few minutes. Go to your room and take a few minutes to relax or pray. You will find it will revive you!

Sometimes long one-on-one conversations can be very taxing when you have anxiety. I can talk to 20 people for 5 minutes each but I have a hard time talking to one person for 20 minutes! Ask your spouse to keep an eye out for times you might need to be “rescued” from Aunt Gladys who tries to corner you for an hour!

Have a code word for when you need him, or your kids, to rescue you from a never-ending story!

 

3. SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS – SAY “NO”!!

Don’t feel like you have to do everything! If someone asks you to host Christmas dinner at your house and you feel it will be too much, say no!  Don’t feel obligated to take on something that you cannot handle.

If you’re asked to make a dish that you KNOW is going to be too much with all you have on your plate (no pun intended!) then say NO!

It doesn’t matter how much everyone loves your Roast Beast! Saying “no” is the best way to manage stress and reduce anxiety. You don’t owe anyone anything, especially when it comes to your mental health. So kindly explain you just cannot do it but you’d be happy to do “fill in the blank” instead!

Manage expectations when you DO agree to something. Don’t allow yourself to get roped into more than you agreed to. Kindly and politely explain you can only do so much!

 


 

 

 4. SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS – PLAN AHEAD!!

Nothing affects my anxiety more than procrastinating or “winging it” at the last minute.

Develop a plan and then work that plan.

If you assign tasks to other people, I will share with you a statement my old boss always used to tell me; “Inspect what you expect”.

Don’t assume people (especially kids) are doing what you asked. Check in with them (or have your husband do it) and make sure everything is going according to plan.  The last thing you want is to find out at the last minute that someone who was supposed to do something didn’t!

Get a planner!!  They have some amazing planners out there it can save you a ton of anxiety when you have everything planned out!!

 

5. SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS BY LEAVING THE GUILT BEHIND!!

Sometimes holiday invites can pile up. You might get stressed out thinking you have to go to every party!

You don’t!

But if you do go, feel the freedom to make an appearance and then dip out when you have had enough.

When you accept the invite, explain you would love to come but cannot stay long. Stop in, say hello, and then give yourself permission to leave.

It can also help when you have more than one place to be in one night. No need to feel like you have to let someone down. Stop in and say hi and then excuse yourself.

We sometimes think people are really focused on how long we stayed or who we talked to but they are not! They are busy talking or focusing on ALL their guests.  We often believe that everyone notices everything we do. They don’t. So stop feeling guilty if you don’t do everything you THINK people expect of you. The only person expecting those things is you! So let it go!

 

 

 

THE BEST ADVICE – CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK

At the end of the day, the best advice I can give you for dealing with the holidays is “be easy on yourself”! No one is expecting perfection from you but you!

Give yourself permission to be less than perfect!! Give yourself permission to decline! Grant yourself permission to leave early! Give yourself permission to walk away from taxing conversations! Give yourself permission to do things on a smaller scale!!

Relax, enjoy the process! Enjoy your family and fellowship! Give yourself permission to take care of YOU!

At the end of the day, the best advice I can give you for dealing with the holidays is “be easy on yourself”! No one is expecting perfection from you but you! #anxiety #holidays Click To Tweet
 
 

12 Thoughts on “Surviving the Holidays When You Have Anxiety”

  • I love this!! We put too much stress o ourselves to make the holidays perfect and then pay the price with stress and exhaustion. A few years ago we decided to start having our family Christmas gathering at the end of November. Since we live in Canada, it is not too close to Thanksgiving and makes December and the rest of the holidays so much more relaxing.

  • Planning ahead is typically my plan of attack! We’re traveling a lot for the next several months so I’m trying to do a lot of stuff earlier so I can relax with family

  • These are all great suggestions. I have anxiety myself and get particularly anxious around the holidays! I really do need to learn to say “no” a lot more than I do! Thanks for sharing!

  • I think these are super important steps to take in order to survive such a busy time of the year. We find that the holiday season is supposed to be about spending time with family and friends, but instead we end up in a spin trying to think of the next thing to do. I’ll definitely take your advice and take it one (organised) day at a time haha! Thanks!

    • So true Zoë. We often take what should be a time to make memories and enjoy the people around us and we make it something stressful. Let us know how it goes!! LOL

    • I have the same issue with saying no! It can be tough but it sure does save so much anxiety in the end! Thank you!!

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