The holidays can be incredibly stressful, and lead to an increase in anxiety. However, there are a few things you can do to help decrease your overall anxiety during the holidays.
Say “No”. You don’t have to attend every gathering you are invited to. If you are not feeling up to something, or your calendar feels overscheduled give yourself permission to say no without guilt.
Schedule down time. It is so easy for calendars to fill up quickly. Scheduling down days before you get every invitation is a great way to make sure you don’t feel overscheduled. It also allows your body time to rest so your immune system is not overwhelmed either.
Surround yourself with people you love and who love you. Give yourself permission to skip gatherings that have people that may increase your stress or anxiety. You are allowed to choose who you spend time with, so prioritize those that make you feel better about yourself.
Make time for memories. Create a list for what you want to get done, events to attend, or traditions you value. Then schedule time for those. This can help you prioritize your calendar so you do not feel stressed and anxious about squeezing in events that are important to you.
Leave early or change your mind if necessary. Give yourself permission to change your mind or leave an event early if it is increasing your anxiety. Pay attention to your own regulation, and make decisions that support your mental health.