So it is that time of year. When your loved ones gather around you, you are supposed to be full of joy with the hope of spending quality time with your family and making good memories. There are certain societal expectations associated with the holiday season. Everyone is expected to smile, sing, and be in a better mood than usual.
However, the holiday season isn’t just about gifts, laughter, and good food. The overwhelming pressure to be happy and enjoy family gatherings creates social anxiety among many people. In fact, the holiday seasons are often associated with higher levels of stress and anxiety. Many people feel pressured to fake a good mood during the holiday season when, in reality, they may have been suffering from heightened social anxiety. Plus, the financial cost of the entire season and the feelings of loss and grief may make the time even more taxing for someone.
Most people tend to hide their fears because they are afraid of disappointing their family members by being a spoiled sport for the season. However, one needs to know that these feelings are completely normal, and they deserve to be heard and understood. There are several ways to manage the social anxiety that arises during the holiday season.
Let’s dive into some of the most effective and least intimidating ways to deal with social anxiety this holiday season.
1. Don’t apologize for your feelings.
Everyone deals with feelings and situations in their own way. So, it’s not your fault if you experience severe social anxiety during the holiday season. The first thing you can do to help yourself is to accept your condition and stop feeling guilty about it. Once you understand that it’s not your fault and stop beating yourself up for it, the guilt of having to act a certain way won’t drag you down.
Read more: How do I fix myself mentally and emotionally
2. Identify triggers.
So what is it about the holiday season that has you worried? Are they at packed house parties? Are you afraid of saying or doing something wrong or embarrassing? Are the people around you in general during the holiday season pushing you into conversations you don’t want to? When you have a clear answer to what triggers your social anxiety, you have a manageable problem. Now, instead of looking at the entire holiday season, you can focus on your triggers and work on them to help yourself.
3. Make time for yourself.
When you learn to live in the moment instead of focusing on how you should act, you will be able to be more at ease. Being happy is not an end goal; It is a state of being, and you have to learn to accept and feel it in the most mundane of situations. It’s often the middle of the holiday season and the multitasking associated with it can weigh on your shoulders. So, it’s okay to take some time for yourself and acknowledge how you’ve been feeling lately. And eventually, when you feel you have the energy, you can process those feelings and learn to work on them.
Read more: What it really means to savor the moment.
The holiday season is filled with so many activities – family gatherings, curious relatives, financial stresses, lack of proper sleep, and lots of multitasking. If all that turmoil is causing you social anxiety, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it’s completely normal to feel distressed by the expectations placed on you during the holiday season. We hope these little tips will help you deal better with your social anxiety during the holiday season.
Therapy is an effective way to deal with the social anxiety associated with the holiday season. Treatment has become more accessible with the advent of online therapy platforms. To learn more about the most convenient and affordable online therapy platforms, click here.
To continue learning about mental health, subscribe to Your mental health matters.