Having anxiety on a very basic level is one of the most exhausting, frustrating and tiring things to deal with. Add to that the social aspect and it can break even the strongest of people. It’s a daily struggle and takes a lot of work to really be able to stay level-headed. Now, this happens on your normal days and months so when the holidays come along, it’s difficult to not just want to sleep until it’s all over.
I find myself with higher anxiety levels the closer that the holidays get and with Thanksgiving only a couple of days away, I have to take a step back and reassess not only how I’m handling it, but how I plan on handling it in the coming days and weeks.
1.) Remember why you’re doing it
Everyone has their own motivation, so, find yours. Mine is my kids and my husband. They push me to be better and force me to go outside of my comfort zone. Now, I’m not saying this is easy by any means, but it helps. I don’t want my kids to have memories of their anxiety-ridden mother skipping meals or get-togethers because she couldn’t get through the hour or day. I know that some can’t personally do this and I understand that completely. This is just my story and my reasons.
My husband is the epitome of an extrovert. He adores any attention and I swear, I don’t know how he walks around with his ego sometimes because people love him. And, honestly, I love that. I’m not jealous of that in any way; I truly admire it.On the other side of it though, it’s difficult to be his other half when I’m so different. I have, too many times, wondered during those events whether or not he married the right woman and that nearly kills me every single time. So, for my own sanity and as a way of showing him that he’s worth the struggle, I make an effort to be present; even if it’s short-lived. I do what I can to be there with all of them, for all of them and sometimes without knowing, for myself as well.
2.) Talk about it
I know that this sounds incredibly easy and nearly impossible at the exact same time. The oxymoron of the century, if you will. But, it helps. You have to find the right person. Whether that is a friend, family member, spouse or professional (or me 🙂 Use the contact tab if you feel like no one else will listen or understand. I’m a great listener.) You just need to be able to talk. It doesn’t matter what you talk about or how you explain it. You need to get the words out of your head. Half of the time, I feel like I have no idea what is wrong or why it’s wrong. I can’t always put it into the right words but even saying that much just feels like a light switch is flipped. There’s something about being able to hear it out loud that makes you go, hmmmm. It’s not going to fix you or fix the situation but it will make it just a tad bit easier to manage.
3.) Take a break
Do not… I repeat… do not feel bad for needing to walk away from the chaos. It is more than okay. Don’t worry if people understand or mind or get upset about it. If you need to take a walk or step outside or just find another room to go into for a few minutes; then do it. Your mental well-being and sanity are more important than a few extra moments around the group. You are not superhuman and should never be expected to be. Everyone has their limits. I promise you, even those overly outgoing people that you see, they all have times when they just need quiet. If you begin feeling uncomfortable or overwhelmed, just take yourself out of that situation; even if that means that you cut the day short. There is no shame in doing this and you will be better off for it.
4.) Stay Busy
This is one of the easiest ways for me to get through rough days. I find a project and I focus on it until I’m either done or just tired; usually, both. Recently, cleaning, reorganizing and decluttering have been my biggest projects. It helps for me to have a goal to complete something. I end up concentrating on the specific details and aspects of what I’m doing and don’t have time to think about much else. It’s not permanent or long-lasting but it works. When we have people over, we try to go all out to be accommodating. Thanks to living with a chef, this means a lot of food prep and cooking.
During the holidays, this is pretty much expected. I mean, you’re either cooking a meal, baking desserts or doing both. So, put all of yourself into that. Find new recipes, try things out, make a tablescape or spend time getting yourself dolled up while watching youtube videos.Whatever you choose, just have fun with it and enjoy yourself; even if it’s the only time you’ll be able to do so before people show up. Find the good and the happy and make sure you highlight that in some way.
I can’t stress this enough. Please make sure you are taking the time to just be in the moment. No matter what happens or how you feel, remember these 6 words. Everything. Is. Going. To. Be. Okay. I promise you this. It can be overpowering and stressful but you can do this. You deserve to have those moments with your friends and family. You are stronger than you think and you’ve made it this far. You are amazing. Don’t you dare forget that or think any differently. If you only make it through 15 minutes this time, then aim for 20 next. Everyone’s limit is different. Only you can tell you what you can handle. Take a deep breath. You’ve got this.
I hope these tips can help you. I know that there are so many times when they save me from completely losing my mind. And, like I said before, if you need an ear to listen, I’m more than happy to be that for you. Pass this along to anyone else you think it will help.
Thanks for reading!
What are your tips and tricks? I’d love to hear them.