Holiday stressors can be a lot for anyone to handle, but it may seem nearly impossible when you suffer from anxiety. In addition, the pressure of holiday expectations and meeting socialization expectations that come with holiday gatherings can intensify an already anxious person’s stress levels.
3 reasons why 2021 holidays may cause more anxiety
3 Reasons why the Holidays cause more anxiety
Here are 3 reasons why the 2021 holidays may cause more anxiety, along with tips for staying less anxious during the holiday season.
1. What Causes Holiday Anxiety?
It makes sense why holidays make anxious people even more stressed out if you take time to consider what exactly they are supposed to do during the festive days.
Many people plan vacations around this time of year because it seems like the perfect opportunity to getaway. However, flying or driving during this time of year can be more stressful than usual. The increased anxiety levels may leave you with feelings of panic just thinking about traveling.
The holiday season is also a time when families come together and enjoy each other’s company over big meals. For those who suffer from a social anxiety disorder, this may be particularly difficult to manage stress levels during gatherings because family members expect them to participate in conversations and interactions – which they might not always feel comfortable doing.
Plus, extended relatives often expect to sit near one another and approve of the things their family members say or do, which can lead to even higher anxiety levels, especially if your opinion differs from someone else’s.
If you’re feeling stressed out about the holidays, don’t worry. There are plenty of things you can do to stay anxiety-free this year!
Prepping for multiple reunions at once can be stressful
The fall is typically when many people see their family members again. It’s also when the busiest part of the holiday season begins, which places a lot of stress on consumers who have to buy gifts and put together thoughtful meals for their relatives.
The festive atmosphere may be difficult to handle
Everyone loves decorating their homes and neighborhood with colorful lights, wrapping presents in bright paper, and baking Christmas cookies – but you may feel overwhelmed by the festive atmosphere if it triggers unpleasant feelings from the past.
The holiday season has a lot of pressure attached to it
There’s a lot of pressure associated with making sure your loved ones have a good time during the holiday. You might be worried that it’ll be difficult to enjoy festivities if something makes you uncomfortable during the season or if your family excludes you from activities.
2. Mental Symptoms
There are psychological factors that make people more likely to suffer from holiday stress. For example, often, people get sick right before a long trip because their bodies are stressed out from packing all day and night.
In addition to this tense preparation period, other reasons for holiday anxiety may be family arguments or even social gatherings where you feel awkward because you are around a lot of new people.
According to some therapists, the holiday season is also associated with negative memories attached to the time of year, so it’s natural for people who have experienced trauma during this time of year to feel anxious about returning home during the holidays.
3. Physical Symptoms
The stress response in people’s bodies causes them to release cortisol and adrenaline, which makes them feel stressed out. This can lead to many different physical symptoms like headaches, loss of appetite, nausea, etc.
Not being able to relax your body will contribute greatly towards that uneasy feeling you might have while at a gathering or even just thinking about staying at home.
Tips to manage anxiety:
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to avoid holiday stress and anxiety.
1. Plan ahead
It is important to make a list before the holidays of everything you have going on. This can prevent those pesky self-doubts from creeping in and causing feelings of anxiousness, as well as give you ample time to prepare for all that you have to do. In addition, writing down these things will help you mentally prepare yourself to take them one step at a time, slowly but surely.
2. Take time for yourself
In the midst of all the stressors, don’t forget to schedule some time for yourself! If you’re able to get away and take a mini-vacation while everyone else is celebrating, go ahead and enjoy your time off. But even if it’s just an hour on a weekend day or some quiet time before bed, block out some space so that you can catch up with yourself and relax.
3. Get enough sleep
It’s no secret that lack of sleep contributes to feelings of fatigue and anxiety. So before heading into this busy season, try getting more hours of shut-eye to help you better manage those anxiety levels. Turn off the TV and mobile devices before bed, and instead, try reading a book or listening to music as you wind down for the night.