The holidays can be a wonderful time filled with decorating, shopping and memorable celebrations with coworkers, family and friends. But for some people, these same situations are a cause of considerable stress and social anxiety. The idea of facing a large gathering of family members or walking into a crowded company party can trigger intense feelings of anxiety and even panic.
If you feel more apprehensive than usual around the holidays, you’re not alone: about one out of every 10 people struggle with significant social anxiety. Statistics compiled by Harvard Medical School indicate that approximately 12 percent of American adults experience social anxiety disorder at some time in their lives, and this disorder can be especially challenging at this time of year.
If you or someone you love is struggling with social anxiety, here are some tips to help you cope around the holidays.
- Plan ahead. Instead of fearing the unknown, take some time to evaluate what you need to do in the coming days and make a plan to accomplish these tasks. If you feel overwhelmed by your holiday schedule, consider skipping an event or two.
- Use your support system. Talk to someone you trust about your anxiety, whether it’s a friend, a family member or a fellow anxiety sufferer. If you are anxious about attending a certain event, take that person with you for support.
- Take care of yourself. During this hectic time of year, you may feel that you’re too busy to take time for yourself. Set aside some time to focus on self-care strategies such as exercise, meditation or a participating in a hobby.
- Get help when you need it. If you are struggling to manage anxiety and other mental health challenges, you may benefit from talking to a professional therapist.
Find Support at Sound Mind Therapy
If you find yourself overwhelmed by anxiety, give Sound Mind Therapy a call for innovative counseling services from the heart. Our professionals can help you see life’s challenges from a different perspective. You can reach us at (314) 499-9144 or complete our online request form to schedule an appointment. From our office in Creve Coeur, we serve residents of St. Louis, Chesterfield and surrounding suburbs.