Preparing for Holiday Anxiety

If you suffer from depression and/or anxiety, the onset of colder weather may make you feel nervous.  The recent arrival of fall may trigger an additional stressor – the upcoming holidays.  For many, the holiday season is a time of joy with family and friends coming together.  But for some, it can be a time of great stress that can lead to depression and anxiety.  If you have suffered from anxiety and depression in the past and know the holidays can be a trigger, then use the following information as a guide to help you gain insight and learn coping mechanisms.

  1.  Talk with a therapist now.  There is no better way to deal with depression and anxiety than before it begins.  We can work together to build your coping skills now so that when you are presented with a stressful or uncomfortable situation you do not slip down a darker path.
  2. Acknowledge the signs as they present themselves.  Colder weather, an invitation to a holiday party, the thought of gift shopping, your mother calling to confirm you are attending dinner.  These scenarios have the potential to raise your stress level, leaving you more vulnerable to depression and anxiety.
  3. When you feel the triggers stick to the action plan we put in place.  For some people it is a positive affirmation or mantra they repeat to themselves, for others it might be a call to a friend, walk in the park, or a specific relaxation technique.  For some of my patients the best course of action is to schedule an appointment with me to talk through what is bothering them.
  4. Staying healthy can really help you avoid stress and anxiety at the holiday time.  Eating right and getting a regular dose of exercise will help clear your mind.  When you make the commitment to take care of your physical self, the added benefit is that it positively feeds your emotional self.

Holidays can be stressful for many people.  But if you dread the thought of going through the season because of anxiety and depression then take care of yourself.  Having a plan and booking regular appointments with a therapist can build you up to ensure you not only survive the season but actually enjoy it.

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