6 Effective Ways To Deal With Stress During The Holidays

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The Christmas season is upon us. And although this time of year brings about many joyous aspects, for some people, it also brings about feelings of anxiety. Because the holidays generally involve being around a large group of people, many people feel great social anxiety at just the thought of these events. Maybe you don’t have social anxiety, but tensions in your immediate family fill you with apprehension and dread. If you’re feeling anxious leading up to and during the holidays, here are six effective ways to cope.

1. Take A Moment For Yourself

The holidays can be extremely overwhelming, even if you don’t have social anxiety. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by people, take a moment to quietly distance yourself. Spend five minutes practicing some mindful breathing in the washroom, or take a quick walk around the block.

2. Avoid Caffeine

Because caffeine is a stimulant and increases your heart rate, having a coffee or other caffeinated beverage can worsen your anxiety. If you know that you’re going to be in a stressful or overwhelming situation, skip the coffee that day.

3. Breathe

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It may sound cliche, but taking a few deep breaths will slow down your heart rate, calm down your mind, and remind you to stay rooted in the present.

4. Find An Animal

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The best remedy for social anxiety? Cuddling with a furry friend! If you’re at someone’s house and they have a pet, spend a few minutes with their dog or cat, and you’ll probably feel calmer afterwards.

5. Get A Good Night’s Sleep

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Running on little sleep will only worsen your anxiety. To feel more in control, get on a sleep routine and get a good night’s sleep. You’ll be better equipped to handle holiday situations if you’re not overtired.

6. Find A Trusted Friend

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If holiday gatherings or family events fill you with dread, stick close to a trusted friend or family member. If they know how you’re feeling, you’ll have someone in your corner who can ground you and provide a relaxing, comforting presence.