26 May How to Spend the Holidays With Friends and Family
The last post was all about how to cope with being alone for the holidays. Yet if you have the opposite, you know all too well that it can be just as stressful to spend a holiday with friends and family. It’s a challenge for the average anxiety sufferer since you often must travel out of the comfort zone of your own home and into someone else’s or at an entertainment venue. There are a few things to keep in mind when it’s time to get in touch with friends and family for the holidays.
First, you want to start early in terms of communicating with friends and family. Most of the time we rush through life at a speed that doesn’t let us really show how much our friends and family really mean to us. Set the tone by taking a few weeks before the event to reach out and make sure everything is okay with your loved ones. They’ll be in a more pleasant mood when it’s actually time to see you and this has the additional benefit of lowering their tendency to criticize or offer negative opinions.
Next, take a few symbols of home with you in your travel bag. If this is a stuffed animal or a book that you read over and over, pack it with you instead of leaving it at home. Sometimes a new place is easier to deal with when you have symbols from the place you’re most comfortable being.
Finally, break the ice when you get there by bringing a fun food dish with you. It’s very difficult for people to go out of their way to make you miserable when you’ve offered them something they like. Food has long been considered the great connector, and cooking can be a fun way to let go of some of your stress as well!
All things considered, spending time with your family and friends during a holiday is a great way to reconnect and build memories that will last a lifetime. The tips above will help you make your next holiday visit much more comfortable — try it today!
How to Spend a Holiday Alone Without Triggering Anxiety Symptoms
Even if you might be reading this after a holiday has passed, you’re still familiar with the feelings of stress, frustration, and even loneliness that a holiday can bring on. Although holidays are traditional times where friends and family come together, the reality is that not everyone has friends and family around them for the holidays. For anxiety sufferers, this often leads to a feelings of loneliness and inadequacy. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way at all. If you have a holiday coming up where you will be spending all or part of it alone, there are a few things you can do to make the experience a lot more comfortable.
First, the major key is to stay busy for the entire length of the holiday. This is a good time to pick up a hobby you’ve had to pause due to other obligations, or even to finally get a chance to read that book you’ve been waiting to read.
Generally speaking, anxiety symptoms tend to arise when the mind has time to think about them. By surrounding yourself with plenty of pleasurable things to do, you will keep the mind from feeling it’s starved of attention. In addition, you’ll also be sending a silent message to your mind that you really can have a happy holiday without having friends and family around.
It may take some time to really make these changes stick. At first, it is common to still feel a deep loneliness, but as you practice spending time alone you will become more and more comfortable with these additional periods of solitude. There’s no need to feel like you have to have this mastered the first time you try this method — give yourself plenty of time to adjust.
So, how do you handle being around friends and family for the holidays? If you have the opposite problem, then the next post is definitely for you – stay tuned!