Anxiety and the holidays are almost synonymous with one another. There’s so much to do and so many obligations on your plate that it gets overwhelming very quickly.

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Even the thought of the holidays may bring on anxiety symptoms for you.

But  you don’t want anxiety to affect your holiday.

You truly want to have a good time. Plus, there are too many people counting on you (which actually, can also cause anxiety!).

That’s why it’s important to consider these ideas for calming your anxiety during the holidays.

1. Remember to Breathe

Okay, you’ve most likely read dozens of articles online about why practicing breathing exercises when anxious is important, right?

However, when you do feel anxious, do you actually remember to breathe?

It’s an important coping skill that everyone knows but isn’t always practiced when it matters most. That’s because the anxiety is so overwhelming that it blocks out your rational thinking and replaces it with anxiety.

When practicing breathing exercises, keep in mind:

  • When you recognize your anxiety symptoms are happening, take a few deep breaths to refocus.
  • If possible, go through a few rounds where you breathe in, hold your breath, then breathe out.
  • Continue this cycle until you feel yourself calming down.

Remember when it comes to breathing exercises, practicing beforehand when you’re already calm really helps prepare you for when you really need them.

2. Take Some Space

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Even if you’re an extrovert who thrives on socializing, it still helps to take some space when you feel anxious.

If you’re at home, have a room or corner set aside that’s your personal recharging zone. Have some uplifting reminders in this space, and add a little green with plants.

You can use this space to practice breathing exercises, or to just “zone out” for a little bit. If you’re away, try finding a quiet space where you can refocus.

This doesn’t have to be long, just a few minutes even, but it can make a world of difference.

3. Use a Worry Stone

This probably sounds really corny. After all, aren’t worry stones things you find at a tourist trap gift shop?

Maybe. But a worry stone or other small object can help distract and refocus your mental energy from anxiety.

Keep it in your pocket, and when you feel anxiety coming on, rub your stone. The physical experience is meditative and can be a reminder of something positive in your life.

4. Say Something Positive

A positive and reassuring saying—one that resonates with you—can really help deal with anxiety symptoms.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a single word, phrase, or quote. It can be something that you made up on your own. The idea is that you can relate to the words and that they calm you down.

Even better, combine repeating that phrase with the worry stone or object in your pocket. The physical object together with the reassuring phrase can be a powerful combination for managing your anxiety.

5. Laugh at Your Anxiety

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Yep, that’s right, laugh at your anxiety! If you start feeling your anxiety rise, try laughing at it and the situation that’s occurring.

When you laugh, you’re releasing chemicals in your brain that help calm you down and feel more open. It’s hard to feel stressed about anxiety when you’re laughing, or at least find something funny.

Your anxiety will pass shortly, and you can refocus back onto the situation at hand.

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Yes, you have anxiety. But that doesn’t mean it has to ruin the holidays if you use these coping skills to calm your anxiety.

In addition to incorporating these skills into your life, a mental health therapist can help you deal with your anxiety symptoms. If you decide you’re in need of a high quality counseling practice in the Columbus, OH area, please reach out and contact Blue Boat Counseling today. Our skilled anxiety counselors can help you manage your symptoms and help you be you.