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20 Ways to Deal with Holiday Anxiety

By Eileen Bailey

The holidays are a stressful time for many different reasons. Some people with anxiety have a difficult time with the many activities going on, some may be experiencing financial difficulties, sleep may suffer and the expectations of our holiday season may not measure up to the reality in our lives.

Whatever the reason, often those with anxiety feel symptoms increase and become out of control during the holiday season. When anxiety increases during this time of year, people sometimes ignore discussing it with their doctor or seeking help. They may feel it is normal to feel anxious and therefore feel they must somehow live through it or they may feel there really isn’t any help available.

The following are twenty tips for helping to keep anxiety under control during the holiday season:

1)      Spend some time giving to someone else. This can be through volunteering for a local organization or just helping people that may need assistance. Helping someone else makes you feel good and reminds you of the spiritual meaning of the holiday season.

2)      Lower your expectations. Keep your expectations of the season realistic with your situation. Instead of spending more money than you can afford, limit your purchases to meet your budget. Instead of believing this year the family get-together will be great, accept your relationship with your family. Instead of spending every night at a different holiday function, spend some time at home, enjoying the quiet time spent with family or friends.

3)      Get plenty of rest. It is tempting to spend extra time at parties or events and then still get up early the next morning for work. But it is important to continue to get a good night's sleep each night. Anxiety attacks can happen more frequently if you do not get the proper rest.

4)      As much as rest is important, eating healthy and continuing (or beginning) an exercise program to keep up a healthy lifestyle is important to keeping anxiety attacks minimal and under control.

5)      Instead of getting angry and irritated at the long lines, take the time to start a conversation with someone else standing in line and wish them a happy and healthy holiday season. Bringing a smile to someone else can improve your mood and help spread the spiritual meaning of the holidays.

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