Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Anxiety and Christmas.

It's the most wonderful time of the year.
But for those of us suffering with anxiety, this time of year can be particularly stressful.

There are definitely an increased amount of triggers around the festive period including organisation, finances and the social aspects of Christmas.

It can be increasingly difficult to deal with your anxiety as you're swamped with so many things at once.

For some people, this can be the worst time of the year despite being advertised as the best.
Let's face it. At some point we've all been so overworked and anxious that we put on the war paint and just 'get on with it'.

An increasing percentage of adults are suffering with anxiety and it can be really difficult to deal with especially on top of Christmas.  

I wanted to know your thoughts on anxiety at Christmas.
Is your anxiety worse? What triggers you? How do you deal with it? Any advice for others?

Chris said "being out of a routine, seeing people you haven't seen for a while and missing those that are no longer here can be triggers. Remaining positive is important".



Charlie said "My anxiety does increase a little bit more than normal around Christmas time with all events etc but I'm slowly starting to learn how to control it. A couple of days before the event I'll be completely stressed out working myself up to a point where I begin to talk myself out of it but I don't want to let other people down so I end up going and while I'm there I feel awkward but I put on a front and make it look like I'm having a good time.
I find that the triggers are places I've never been to before because I'm unaware of the surroundings and where things are so it makes me anxious in case I can't grab a breath of fresh air or whatever. I also find that the amount of people that are at these places triggers my anxiety.
The only people that are aware of my anxiety are my friends and I always speak to them if I need them to calm me and make me feel safe.
I'm personally not great with advice but all I will tell you is if you have it, speak to someone even if it's just your best friend. Tell them. If you are out Christmas shopping and your anxiety starts to creep up take a minute, find a bench somewhere, sit down and take deep breaths. When you feel like it's under control find a nearest shop and buy yourself some water"



My personal stance on it is this: Be realistic with yourself and always acknowledge your anxieties. They wont just disappear just because it's Christmas. 
Take your time with yourself and give yourself credit for even the small things you do this Christmas. The pressure is hard for everyone and you are no exception. It may feel difficult but there's so much to gain at this time of year.
Don't go overboard (financially). It really is a case of 'the thought that counts'. I would much rather receive nothing but a card from someone and see them calm and happy than see them compromising their sanity and mental health just so I can have a gift and I can imagine a lot of people feel the same.
Remember that you are not silly for being anxious. You are strong and you are brave. Anxiety is a scary, lonely world and I think you're incredible for fighting through and winning.
Take breaks when you need to. If and when it all gets too much, remove yourself from the situation and breathe. Deep breaths and lots of grounding*.
Remember that you are not alone. If you're feeling in crisis or suffering a panic attack then don't despair. You can always press Anxiety United's panic button which will help guide you through and regain some control.
Anxiety is different for everyone. We all have our obstacles in life so there is no general fix. It's important to remember you are unique and should be treated as such.
Last but not least, be honest with your family and friends. Honesty really is the best policy. 
Life is tough as it is and to hide your anxiety is absolutely exhausting (trust me, I've been there).
I am honest with my anxiety and problems now and I feel like a weight has lifted. Though not everyone necessarily understands it, they know that I'm not feeling my best and are more accepting of that. I find that it helps teach others when you are honest with yourself and them.
You don't have to hide anxiety. It's okay.

I hope this gives you a bit of assistance or insight in to anxiety at Christmas time.
If  you have anxiety yourself then let me know how you deal with it on top of Christmas.

Merry Christmas and remember, you are not alone!

Lots of Love
Loubee
xx


*To "ground" yourself, I suggest you close your eyes and think of 3 things you can feel, 2 things you can smell and something you can taste. Then when you're ready, open your eyes and find 4 things you can see. This helps you to feel more grounded and together. It does work when you're feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Give it a try :)






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