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.