What It's Like Having Anxiety During the Holidays

What It's Like Having Anxiety During the Holidays

Is the holiday season really the best time of the year?
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If you know someone who struggles with anxiety disorder or even struggle with it yourself, then you know that anxiety is something that is carried around with you at all times. It’s like baggage that can sometimes be too heavy to carry with balance. The holiday season could be overwhelming and overstimulating to a person who suffers from anxiety disorder. Whether your struggle with anxiety is hard or somewhat bearable, you can most likely relate to some common explanations of what its like to have anxiety during the holiday season.

1. Having a list and checking it twice

If you suffer from anxiety, then congratulations! You are a major over-thinker. It’s understandable. Many of us who suffer from anxiety feel the need to constantly check that everything is going alright and will get done on time. If you have anxiety, lists are your best friend. Holiday season is the prime time to make lists of what gifts to get for who, where to get it, and when you’ll get it. You update it daily and try to knock things off of it by the hour. You just NEED to get this big list out of the way! But hey, it keeps you organized, to say the least.

2. Checking your bank account every ten minutes.

The holidays certainly aren’t cheap. Co-workers, friends, and family are constant reminders that you need to get them a Christmas gift. Even if you don’t struggle with money, your anxiety will convince you that you do. It more than likely has you constantly questioning if you can afford certain things and the outcome of you spending all that money. What else were those bank phone apps made for?

3. Worrying about all the weight you’ll gain from holiday treats

If you have anxiety or not, we all know that holiday season is not the easiest season to eat healthy in. It’s not uncommon to go up a pant size after Thanksgiving, but once Christmas season hits, you might as well say goodbye to that belt. There are sweets and treats everywhere, especially the homemade ones made by that special person in your family that you just can’t resist. You worry about the weight you're going to gain and see yourself hiding out in the summer with each and every bite. You probably promise yourself every night that you’ll ignore the festive treats the next day, but we should all just accept that we’re not going to do that.

4. Dreading those family dinner conversations.

Your family members all have different views, who’s don't? Sometimes the conversations at the dinner table can get a tad bit out of hand during the holidays. This probably leaves you thinking about it in the weeks prior. Certain topics can certainly trigger your anxiety at the table, and you have to put your poker face on all night. Do your best and remember this only happens a few times a year!

5. Avoiding the mall at all costs.

Black Friday is just the beginning of holiday season's mall madness. The mall is filled with people rushing, running, and sometimes even screaming. You can’t handle it if you have anxiety, and frankly, you don’t know how any normal person handles it. The mall during the holidays is overwhelming and overstimulating. There is so much going on along with so many sales and so many people. Going there is basically volunteering to have an anxiety attack in public. Whether it’s the packed crowds, rude people, or lack of peace that bothers you, your anxiety definitely is at it’s all-time high in the mall. Try making online shopping your best friend.

6. Not being able to control yourself on those long shopping lines

‘Tis the season to stand in never ending lines all day long. These lines are definitely the worst part of the holiday shopping experience. You grow impatient, angry, and overall fed up! Your anxiety is screaming at you to leave the line once you’re there for more than five minutes. If you have the willpower, you’ll stick through it unhappily.

7. Not knowing how to communicate with long distance family

If you have a big family, you know what it’s like to only see certain family members during the holidays. You either barely know them or can’t even remember their name. Either way, there is no way to avoid confrontation with these family members. Every year, you’re another year older and they ask about you. Knowing this is what will happen, your anxiety probably makes you rehearse in front of a mirror before your family gathering. Smile and wave.

8. Flight Anxiety

If you have anxiety and travel for the holidays, that anxiety is definitely going to be on board with you. Flight anxiety is very common and will have you sleepless due to the constant worrying that something could happen. You'll think of every possible scenario. You'll probably try to distract yourself with activities on the plane, but your anxiety will constantly remind you that it's there with you. Sit back, relax, and try your best to enjoy the flight with your dear friend anxiety.

Cover Image Credit: Foter

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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I'm Keeping My Christmas Tree Up All Winter And There's Nothing You Can Do About It

It's the WINTER Season... ;-)

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I think that my tree would not be considered Christmas-y if the ornaments are taken off and the lights are kept on. I think to just looks wintry. I am also keeping up decorations that say "let it snow", and I am keeping up any snowman without holly berries or presents in their hands.

The tree looks wintry in my opinion. It looks pretty with the lights and brings the room together. It gives off a warm ambiance, unlike that of fluorescent lighting.

I've taken all ornaments off except for gold snowflakes and I've left the silver tinsel garland on as well as the lights. It looks wintry to me still. I will probably be taking the whole tree down by the end of this month to prepare for Valentine's Day decorating. (Yes, I pretty much decorate my apartment for every holiday—sue me).

There's nothing like coming downstairs and seeing those lights sparkling.

Or coming inside from a dreary, rainy day outside and seeing them light up the room in a calm, warm, and comforting glow.

Or having a bad day, looking up, and seeing them shine.

It sort of makes me upset when I come downstairs and see that someone has unplugged them, to be honest.

I guess they don't see it as I do.

Pretty, twinkling lights forever!

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