5 Ways I Cope With Holiday Anxiety

The holidays can be chaotic and on top of your regular routine you might also have to fit in gift shopping, wrapping, baking and time with family. It can all be a bit overwhelming, especially when you’re struggling with anxiety. In the midst of the chaos, sometimes you can’t just escape for an hour to regroup. Here are a few ways I cope with holiday stress without missing a beat:

1. Wait 10 Seconds Before You React

Let’s be honest, things don’t always go as planned and it can be enough to make you want to pull your hair out. Did you just burn the cookies and now you’re ready to scream? Step back, take a deep breath and count to 10. Sure, the cookies might be a little well-done, but at least the house didn’t start on fire. Just remind yourself everything will be OK and carry on.

2. Practice Breathing Techniques

There are a lot of breathing techniques out there, but you don’t always have the time to close your eyes and lay in a comfortable and quiet setting. When you’re on the go and need some relief, use this simple equal breathing technique. Inhale for a count of four, then exhale for a count of four – all through the nose. This can calm the nervous system, increases focus and reduces stress.

3. Be Grateful

In the holiday rush, sometimes we forget what the holidays are actually all about. When it seems like everything is going wrong and you’re at your wits end – remember the things you are grateful for. Although it can be stressful, surrounding yourself with friends and family during the holiday season is usually a blessing.

4. Grab a Cup of Hot Chocolate

Hot drinks can exert a soothing effect, but if your first instinct is to grab another cup of coffee – you might want to think again. The caffeine in coffee can sometimes heighten stress and anxiety in certain individuals. Chocolate (or tea) might be a better option. And besides, this is the best excuse to indulge a little.

5. Start Singing

Embrace the holiday season and crank up the carols. I have found that singing helps eliminate stress.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Getty image via monkeybusinessimages

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Anxiety

cropped shot of man tied up with christmas garland

4 Ways to Manage Anxiety During a Stressful Holiday Season

Gathering around the table, we often hear the familiar voices of family members of all ages. Smiling faces and the yearly smell of holiday meals. We fill up a plate and pass our dish to the next happy family member as we grin and share the same story of what we have been up to [...]
woman with heart in hands resting on chest

How to Explain Anxiety When Someone Asks

School started a few months back, and with the start of school came extra stress and worsened anxiety. Although I have only had two major panic attacks since school started, that hasn’t stopped my anxiety from showing. I have sat in the waiting room of my counselor’s office many times, honestly at least once a [...]

What My Anxiety Really Looks Like

Anxiety is not something to glamorize or made to be seen as beautiful. Anxiety is a bitch that comes out of nowhere that no one wants to interact with. Anxiety is tears streaming down your face. It is laying in the fetal position. It is crying uncontrollably. It is also not being able to cry [...]
young woman sleeping infront of window

My 5 Holiday Go-To Self-Care Tips

When I was a little girl, the holiday season was one of such joy and excitement that my inner being could burst with joy. I can vividly remember being a young child eagerly waiting next to my older brother admiring the glow of the Christmas lights on the unwrapped gifts. Not only on the day [...]