The holiday season is upon us with all the glitz, glitter, parties and get togethers. For most people this is one of their favorite holidays but for some it is a time of very high stress and anxiety. I, unfortunately, am one of those people and although it has gotten better as I’ve gotten older it still produces a bit of anxiety for me. So, I figured I would pass on a few things I have found that help to reduce the stress and anxiety in hopes it can help you guys too.
First, I found that if I plan to leave for a get together a little bit early it helps to reduce the stress of being late due to construction (which has seemingly become a year-round thing here in the Chicago area) or some other traffic congestion, like snow.
Second, and probably the hardest, has been to try to avoid any conflicts with the people I will be with. I say the hardest because you often are thinking of a certain family member who pushes your buttons every time you’re around them as soon as you got the invite to the family holiday celebration. I have learned to do my best to stop the negative self-talk and be as positive as possible. I have also learned not to bring up any topics, like politics or religion, etc., so as not to start the conflict ball rolling. Unfortunately, we can’t control others, and someone is probably going to start something so, I do my best not to engage. I walk away if not engaging doesn’t work and I have found that will often take the wind out of their sales so to speak and they generally move on to something/someone else.
Last, be very careful about what you eat and drink. For me personally I know that sugary foods totally mess with my mind and thus ramp up my anxiety and stress. We all know how alcohol affects us, so I definitely steer clear of it during times I know will be potentially stressful. Diet has been proven to have a profound affect on our minds and bodies, so I do my best to be very mindful of the foods I eat and not eat things I know will increase my stress and anxiety.
The holidays don’t have to be an agonizing and dreadful event. Just do your best to plan ahead, eat right and don’t engage the drama and you may find the holidays to be something to look forward to.
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