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5 Ways I Cope With Holiday Anxiety

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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.

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Getty image via monkeybusinessimages

Originally published: December 12, 2017
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