Throughout social settings, social anxiety is characterized by extreme anxiety and self-awareness. Sufferers of this syndrome are deeply concerned that others are watching and/or judging them and are worried that their own actions will humiliate or shame them. During periods like the holiday season, since more social events and gatherings take place, some of which are expected, social anxiety is relatively standard.
It can be a crippling social phobia that interferes with both work and personal life. Most people suffering from this anxiety disorder know that they have unreasonable or meritless fears, but are incapable of controlling them. The anticipation of an activity may be worse than the event itself, so people may worry for days or even weeks in advance.
Although social anxiety condition can be limited to just one type of specific situation. Such as fear of public speaking, can also be so crippling that it occurs whenever a person is around others. It is difficult for a large number of people with this condition to make and keep friends and thus also feel the confidence-sapping effects of social isolation.
Physical symptoms such as blushing, vomiting, shaking, and sweating can also go hand in hand with social phobia, contributing to the anxiety of a sufferer. These physical symptoms can be very embarrassing. They can only add to the feeling that the person is being observed and judged.
Social phobia usually occurs with males and females likely to develop the condition in infancy or early adolescence. Scientific evidence suggests that the disease can be inherited and is often associated with other anxiety and depression or stress. People suffering from this form of anxiety should be especially careful during stressful times. Such as holidays, and should follow their counselor or health care provider’s advice if they have already sought assistance.
If you have seasonal social depression, I encourage you to explore options such as mindfulness, yoga, visualization, cognitive behavioral therapy, and symptom reduction exercise. During the holiday season, watch the amount of caffeine, excess sugar, and alcohol and do not feel ashamed to turn down holiday invitations. Try to set a time limit for your engagement if a social occasion or event is imminent. Then you remain more in control and, if necessary, encourage yourself to make a graceful exit.
The disorder of social anxiety is a genuine disease. It often helps family and friends to explain your condition and seek support whenever possible. Just knowing that somebody is aware of your potential future discomfort may relieve or even stop the occurrence of symptoms. If you are seeking a healthcare professional’s support, then make sure you have their contact information during the holidays. If your psychologist or doctor is going to be away during the holiday period, get the contact information for somebody going to cover them and keep it safe elsewhere. You’ll feel that support and encouragement are not much more than a call away from the phone.
Christmas Anxiety And How To Cope
For those who suffer from anxiety, Christmas and the weeks leading up to the big day can pose a minefield. The weight of pressure and seemingly endless lists of’ doing’ conspire to cause pre-existing symptoms of anxiety or even initiate the first attack. Nonetheless, coping with depression at Christmas is simply a matter of knowing the risk signs and setting up yourself so that you realize that throughout the holiday period, you CAN withstand the stresses.
Creating clear boundaries for both you and others is one of the best methods to do this. Don’t take too much on activities like Christmas shopping, and get support from your friends and relatives. Such outreach may be practical or emotional, and it really helps to minimize the stress and ensuring that other people become aware of your needs. Just understanding that your anxiety condition is known to those close to you and potential signs will make a world of difference.
This will help minimize the discomfort or awkwardness you might otherwise experience. Also, this will ensure that your family and friends are more able to make up for the effect on those around you of your anxiety symptoms.
Strategies that you can use to relieve Christmas stress or any other social anxiety moments.
- Exercise – It has been shown that both gentle forms like tai chi and more vigorous exercise like jogging are beneficial when dealing with anxiety.
- Yoga – An outstanding cure to anxiety is deep breathing paired with the necessary focus on achieving and trying to maintain yoga positions.
- Therapy– Has also proven incredibly effective in its many ways for people with anxiety and depression.
- Visualization – Picturing and concentrating on positive outcomes of future activities will dramatically reduce the stress that might otherwise be experienced by a person.
The above four things allow you to create space and time for yourself, which is necessary if you are to go through the span of Christmas without an anxiety attack. Even ten or twenty minutes of quiet meditation or just soaking in the tub will enable you to refresh as well as regenerate away from the seasonal stressors.
Holding your expectations in check is another essential tool in your toolbox against holiday anxiety attacks. We build things too often to such a degree that even the thought is enough to send your pulse racing. Saying that nothing is ever perfect even Holidays, can begin to reduce the weight of expectation automatically. Keeping expectations realistic means that if someone in the family doesn’t act like a Christmas Saint, the turkey doesn’t turn out well, and the stores run out of that critical gift, you’ll be able to handle it.
It is all about minimizing the stress factors that cause the symptoms which help with anxiety Adjust your expectations and at this busy time of year and therefore you’ll adjust the risk of an anxiety attack. Find Your Holiday Zen offers helpful ideas on how to cope with holiday stress and pressure.
Coping With Panic Attacks During The Holiday Season
When you have a panic attack, and you start breathing too fast, try breathing slowly in and out of your palms or a paper bag. Exhale twice as long as you inhale. Either will help your levels of oxygen return to normal and reduce the sensation of abundance that comes with over-breathing.
- Adopt a healthier lifestyle during the holiday season–exercise regularly, avoid cigarettes and alcohol, and eat healthy meals to keep your blood sugar stable.
- Unwind with some time out for yourself, reading a book, or simply napping.
- Smile, the physical act of smiling makes us feel happier and more centered.
- Don’t attempt to fight a panic attack because it’s all going to increase the adrenaline levels. Alternatively, try to accept your emotions and realize that your feelings are just trying to deceive you. Picture yourself flying over them, disconnected. They’re finally going to subside.
- Put your concentration outside of yourself during an attack. Find songs or do anything that you genuinely appreciate until the worries leave.
- Remind yourself that your symptoms are only momentary, not life-threatening or dangerous medically.
- Limit your exposure to undue stress, meaning you have to learn how to say no to anything that overloads you during this busy time.
- Learn and implement the technique of relaxation and meditation. Try to close your eyes, slow down your breathing, and then picture each part of your body getting denser and hotter. Imagine losing all your stress and letting go of it through every limb, neck, and head in turn until you’re fully relaxed. Focus your attention back to the present after fifteen to half an hour of this and open your eyes. You’re going to feel relaxed and refreshed.
- Find someone to trust, whether it’s a friend, family member, or therapist, about your panic attacks. Turn to this individual if you need help or support during the Holiday season to deal with your panic attacks.
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