5 Simple Ways to Deal with Anxiety During The Holidays and Make the Best of Them

The holidays are almost here.

They are the time of the year for spending time with the family, enjoying the comfort of your home, preparing delicious meals, resting and not thinking about the hectic everyday life.

But here are the things most people actually do during these days:

  • shopping;
  • trying to find the best gift, which is also the expensive one;
  • having to visit relatives and friends they see once or twice a year;
  • decorating;
  • buying a Christmas tree;
  • overeating;
  • drinking;
  • feeling nostalgic about their childhood with all this Christmas atmosphere;
  • New Year’s resolutions;
  • plans for the next year;
  • getting depressed about what they didn’t achieve in this one.

And all this makes us anxious and brings stress.

Not only do we miss out on the rest we’re supposed to have, but we are even too busy and have too many things to think about than usual.

And the holidays become a complicated and stressful experience, rather than the peaceful family-oriented series of events they actually are.

So here are a few simple ways to deal with this anxiety and make the best of this winter’s holidays:

6 Ways to Deal with Anxiety During The Holidays

1. Let go of the need to have the perfect holiday.

Many people try to reach a level of perfection by gathering all the family members (which means having to have awkward silence on the table as some of them are just too distant or listening to arguments between others), preparing and serving as many meals as they can, buying a lot of stuff, having a great Christmas tree and impressive decoration, etc.

And it almost never makes up for all the money that is spent, the lost time, efforts, stress and expectations.

Instead, why don’t you just invite over the ones (no matter if they are family or just friends) that make you feel good, that have been there for you and you love spending time with?

Why don’t you make a small number of meals, but make them with love?
Or just give these people your presence, the nice atmosphere of your home, a warm welcome and gift cards instead of fancy presents?

2. You don’t need to go to any special place.

Stop worrying about choosing a great restaurant to take your partner to, or saving for the most famous destination to visit.

You don’t actually need to go anywhere else if you don’t feel like it.

Just staying at home, not thinking about everyday life (like projects at work, stuff you need to do next month, money problems) and enjoying your family’s company, can make you much more contented than going to a luxurious hotel.

3. Not drinking is an option too.

The holiday season is upon us, but not everyone wants a cup of good cheer. If you are recovering from alcoholism or choose to abstain from drinking, it can be a challenge. 

Here are some practical ways you can say no:

Bring Your Own (Non-Alcoholic) Beverages

When you go to a family gathering, a work party, or another holiday event, it may be best to bring your own beverages. 

In some cases, the beverages at the event may consist of nothing but alcoholic drinks. When you’re trying to abstain, the temptation may be challenging to resist.

Instead of wine, bring yourself some sparkling grape juice. Bring some tea, hot chocolate, or another drink that you can sip on wherever you celebrate the festivities.

Let Everyone Know

If you’re recovering from an addiction, you don’t need to tell your friends, coworkers, or family members every single detail of your recovery journey.

However, maintaining open communication with your loved ones and peers about your situation will make your life easier and the Holidays simpler.

If people don’t know, they may attempt to pressure you into a drink. You know that even one drink can be dangerous. 

Casually inform other party-goers you’d prefer not to drink, keep a seltzer in your hand, and you’ll be fine.

Be Firm

When you end up telling people you don’t drink, there may still be people who insist you do.

Double down on your alcohol abstinence. For example, tell them that you’re driving. Inform them that you do not drink. If they insist on a sip, hold your ground.

If a person keeps pressuring you to drink, this may be a case where you want to take a step back and leave them be. A person asking you if you want a drink usually does not have bad intentions. They may not understand addiction. 

However, if you keep saying no, and they keep insisting, it’s time to say goodnight and walk away.

Have Your Own Gatherings

In some cases, if your addiction is severe, you may wish to host gatherings or events on your own terms.

One reason for this is that even if you aren’t drinking, being around people who do can be triggering. If you went to the Master Center for addiction medicine, you might have learned that certain smells, sights, or environments may trigger your need for a drink.

However, it is much easier for you to manage when you have dinner at home, celebrate the holidays at home, or have an event on your terms.

4. The Christmas atmosphere is not that hard to have.

Stop wasting so much money on all the things you see others buy.

Have a small decorative Christmas tree, bake some cookies that will make your place smell nice, light the fireplace, lie on the sofa with your loved ones and watch a Christmas movie.
That is more than enough to give you a pleasant holiday experience.

5. Say ‘no’ more often.

Say no to an invitation for a party or else if you don’t want to go.

Say no to cooking so much only because everyone else is doing it.

Choose only a small part of the decorations you usually put up and the shopping you do.

6. Stop planning, start experiencing.

You can spend all December planning how you’ll celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve, what you’re going to do after that to get back in shape and work flow, what your goals for the next year will be and what you want to be different.

But during that time you’re missing out on what’s important.

So let’s focus on making your kids happy, smiling more, giving presents instead of waiting to receive some, enjoying the snow instead of complaining how cold it is.

These are the simple ways I’m offering that may just be solution that will make your holidays more pleasant, full of great moments and unforgettable.