The 5-Minute Holiday Anxiety Manager
Love, joy, gratitude. Parties, family, friends. These six words can strike happiness and terror during this season, right? SO much to do, added tasks of entertaining, invitations, cards and last minute gift buying for the relative you haven’t seen for years, can be completely overwhelming. If that isn’t enough, in walks Perfectionism, creating anxiety and a lot of drama. Hang with me here, I am a recovering perfectionist myself! Here are 4 of my favorite solutions:
Stop and Breathe.
Give yourself permission to take time at any moment during the day to Breathe! Did you know that one minute of focused breathing reduces your heart rate, oxygenates your brain better, and can alleviate stress molecules? Did you also know it’s physically impossible for you to have a panic attack and do deep breathing at the same time? Truth! There are apps for your smart phone or you can set a reminder to breathe intentionally 4-6 counts for each inhale and exhale, for one minute. I do it sitting at stop lights - better than holiday road rage.
Finding gratitude in the morning starts your day with an outward focus and will keep the anxiety at bay. Recounting the blessings at the end of the day and breathing, will calm and prepare your nervous system for sleep. It’s when we get so caught up in our heads with worry about ourselves, how we might look or thinking about the way things are “supposed to be” based on perceived expectations is when anxiety rears its ugly head. These are shame triggers. If you don’t know the author, Brene’ Brown, I highly recommend her.
In your head you're thinking “But I am expected to do...or if I don’t do...people won’t like me or will get mad at me.” Your inner dialogue is a program and a habit. Yes, one of the hardest to break, but there are many experts that claim it can be done. I’m working on erasing the I’m not good enough” program at the moment...It’s really HARD. Saying no allows someone else to step in and use their talents and skills to bless the world.
Choose healthy habits 90% of the time, not perfect, not deprived. Eat, drink, move, sleep, think and feel. When we stick with choosing health, we skip the added stress of the self-flogging and poor self esteem. Keeping your blood sugar even lowers the risk of panic and anxiety, as does a brisk walk while doing some deep breathing.
You’ve GOT THIS! The holiday season will be a lot more fun for you and your friends and family when you take on some simple new habits to manage your anxiety.