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With the holidays approaching, many of us should be looking forward to spending time with family and friends. However, for some of us – due to anxiety – we find ourselves more burdened with fear rather than filled with excitement.

For several years now, I have been struggling with severe anxiety. While I have been making a great deal of progress with dealing with my anxiety, there are still times when I find myself struggling, and I definitely know what it is like to be both excited for the holidays, and at the same time, extremely fearful. For while many of my fears are irrational, I think anyone who suffers from anxiety knows how scared trembling legs and shallow breathing can make us feel. This is why, I’ve decided to share with you some tips I find helpful in making sure your holidays are enjoyable and stress-free as possible.

  • Try your best and remember that you are doing so – One thing that I think many of us are guilty of is getting angry at ourselves or allowing others to put us down. Just because we may not be doing ‘perfectly well’ or may be struggling, does not mean we’re not trying. Don’t beat yourself up! Try your hardest to get through your anxiety and remind yourself that you are indeed trying your best.


  • Take breaks from social engagement – If you find that talking to your friends or family or being the center or attention is making you anxious, politely ask if you can sit down and take a break. Sometimes just resting for a few minutes can help one to relax.


  • If you need to, ask someone for help! – You may find this extremely difficult, but if you find yourself really struggling, ask someone you trust for help! Even if you’re not sure what their response will be, there is nothing wrong with reaching out as long as the individual is trustworthy. If it ends up that the person is unsupportive, try to find someone who is. If you can’t find anyone, then continue trying your hardest to relax and enjoy yourself on your own. Again, if someone is rude to you, remember that you are trying your hardest and that no one can truly understand what you’re dealing with except for you.


  • If something seems to difficult, don’t push yourself – While going the extra mile is always a good thing, there may be times when something just seems too hard and you find that it just causes you unnecessary stress. Take for example, sitting at the table during dinner. If you find that it’s too taxing to sit with everyone else, ask your host or hostess if you could please eat elsewhere. While it may seem rude, sometimes we need to do what’s best for us. You may just find that the simplest action has the ability to make one feel a whole lot better.


  • Practice doing things in small steps – While you shouldn’t do so much that you cause yourself unneeded anxiety, the holidays can actually be the perfect time to exercise facing your fears! Especially if you are in a safe environment, like a home of a relative, you can take small steps in order to overcome your anxiety! For example, last year, I found myself able to walk around my uncle’s house more than usual. Any time I felt confident enough, I got up and did something small but worthwhile! To this day, I am still proud of myself for doing all that I could and that memory constantly reminds me that I am capable of facing my fears!


I hope that this list has given you all something to think about. Again, while I still struggle with anxiety, I have honestly noticed a positive change in how I spend the holidays. Instead of constantly feeling anxious, I feel more confident and more able to join in the fun instead of sitting idly by and wishing that I felt part of the family. I truly believe that with hard work and believing in ourselves, we can get through our anxiety and begin to enjoy the holidays! Please remember this holiday season that you are not alone in your fight to overcome your struggles and that you are strong enough to accomplish your goals!



Author: B.W. Ginsburg
Author Bio: B.W. Ginsburg has enjoyed reading and writing for as long as she can remember. Ginsburg published her first book, “Rest in Piece,” in October 2016. In addition to writing fiction, she also writes about mental health and can be found blogging, watching TV and listening to music. B.W. Ginsburg graduated college with a B.A. in Arts and Sciences; she majored in English and minored in writing.
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