Dealing with anxiety

Dealing With Social Anxiety Through Christmas

Because parties ARE overwhelming sometimes.


Christmas season is approaching fast, and with it, parties galore. While many people are excited about going to parties, those like me, with social anxiety are not to so enthusiastic. It's actually moderately terrifying. You may be able to get out of most of the Christmas parties, but maybe you can't get out of one of them, or you don't want to be kept out of the loop. For whatever reason, you're going to a Christmas party. Leading up to it, you might not be nervous, you might not even be nervous until you ring the doorbell. If you've got social anxiety though, you'll probably get really anxious/feel awkward at least one point during the party. This list is up so you can mentally prepare for, and push yourself through those parties.

  • Christmas is a great time, and there are lots to look forward to. While parties aren't the most fun thing to do when you have anxiety, maybe these tips will help you to feel more comfortable. I hope that they gave you a little more confidence, and helped you get a new perspective. Maybe you'll even see parties as fun after this! Finally, remember that this party is not the end of the world. Even if it was the worst party you've ever been to, it's probably more enjoyable than say, spilling boiling hot cocoa on your arm. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, all!

1.       Breathe

Calming down by breathing

If you start to get overwhelmed at the noise or meeting new people, or how you think people are portraying you, close your eyes and breathe. Slow your breathing, it'll slow your heart rate, and instantly make you feel a little better. If that doesn't work, find some tea/cocoa. They probably have it at a Christmas party. Just breathe into it and ignore all surroundings. Focus on the smell, the feel of the steam, then the taste. Focusing on smaller things can help you calm down very quickly.

Bring a friend along

Four Person Standing on Cliff in Front of Sun · Free Stock Photo

Bringing a close friend, or someone that you're able to talk to can give you the confidence of numbers. When it's more than just you, you're protected. You know that he/she'll have your back, and support you. They'll be there if you need them, and give you a hug if you need it. Just remember to give back to them, so it's not a one-sided friendship. Make sure they know that you're there for them too!

Talk to one person you didn't know

Four Group of People Smiling and Laughing Together · Free Stock Photo

Breaking out of your comfort zone can actually help you feel more comfortable at the party. If one of the first things you do is initiate a conversation with someone, the rest of the night, when they initiate conversation or ask you questions, it'll be easy. You've already done something scarier.

Avoid judge-y People

Stress Handwritten Text on White Printer Paper · Free Stock Photo

Try to avoid people that are going to stress you out, because it'll make your time there infinitely more enjoyable, and more fun. If you don't talk to the people who bring you down, you're a step higher than you could be. This doesn't always work, because sometimes they start the conversation. If this happens, do not panic. Calmly and politely excuse yourself to the bathroom.

If they talk to you again and start to criticize you/bring you down, there arenod your head and tune out. Listen to a different conversation, or think about one thing about them. Do they have a nice dress on? Is there makeup good? Does their hair look good? Are their shoes unique? Compliment them on it! They'll be so stunned they'll start talking about themselves, or they'll stop talking. Either way, the focus is off of you! Whether it's an "enemy" of yours or a relative who won't stop asking why you don't have a date, stop them politely, and say something nice to them, or even ask them a question. Once the focus is off of you, you can relax, and maybe learn an interesting fact about that person!

People don't care if you're weird/will forget conversation

Shrugging man

If you've got anxiety like mine, you often lie awake in bed, thinking about how awkward, loud, or just plain stupid you were at an event. You think about how all your friends must hate you because you were so odd. This sometimes limits me to talking only to a close friend as 'weird' as I am. I push myself to a corner and just say light conversation, instead of getting into actual details, and making closer friends. I've got a piece of information for you, and it's one that I just started getting over. Now, you probably already know this, but might need a little reassurance about it. Nobody's gonna remember.

When I'm thinking back to how weird I was, I never think about my friends. I barely remember what they were wearing, let alone how they acted or what they said. Chances are, the same thing's happening with your friends. Most people are too focused on what they're going to say next, where they're going to go next, to even take into account what you're doing or saying. (Trust me, I've been awkward enough times to know that this is true). And even if they were paying attention to you, the awkward comment or gesture that you made didn't phase them, or stand out to them.

Make a checklist/'plan of attack'

Click Pen on Notebook Beside Chronograph Watch · Free Stock Photo

If you're already spiraling down, you need your focus away from the center of your anxiety. Make a plan or a goal about where you're going to go, what you're going to do, who you are thinking about talking to. It could be a mental checklist, or you could write it in the Notes app on your phone. It doesn't matter where you put it, but it will probably help if you make one. The plan helps your brain because a.) it distracts you, and b.) gives you a goal; a structured order of events. It's not a big, scary party with no organization or aforethought. Having a goal also makes you feel more accomplished, as you're able to look at the small victories you made. You could also make a plan beforehand so that if things start getting bad, you'll know what to do to calm yourself.

Take a step back

Frozen Trees during Winter · Free Stock Photo

Stepping away for a minute can do wonders. Feel free to slip out the door into the cold winter air. I find that this does so much for mental rejuvenation. I step outside and think about how calm it is. If we're in a neighborhood, you can look at the beautiful lights and decorations that other people set up. There's no shame in stepping back. Whenever you're ready you can head right back inside!

Have no fear of leaving early

Green and White Wreath on Black Door · Free Stock Photo

If the party gets to be too much for you, and all else has failed, there is no shame in leaving early. If you watch the door, people are probably coming in and out frequently. You're not locked into the room, and you're not trapped by social etiquette. Don't stress yourself out more by feeling like you cannot leave. You can. Don't feel ashamed or awkward about it, just nod and wave to the person hosting the party, and exit. If it's easier, of course, you could wait until a person, or a family is walking out, and join them so you're not the only one leaving. Again, it's better to leave early, than to stay, and make yourself more anxious or stressed.

Christmas is a great time, and there are lots to look forward to. While parties aren't the most fun thing to do when you have anxiety, maybe these tips will help you to feel more comfortable. I hope that they gave you a little more confidence, and helped you get a new perspective. Maybe you'll even see parties as fun after this! Finally, remember that this party is not the end of the world. Even if it was the worst party you've ever been to, it's probably more enjoyable than say, spilling boiling hot cocoa on your arm. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, all!

Popular Right Now

18 Times Kate Middleton Was Actually All Of Us In College, Beside The Princess Thing

Every girl has to go through her clueless college stage before she reaches Duchess status.

Kate Middleton is basically a household name by now, and how could this not be the case when she has the gorgeous hair, kind smile, and incredible fashion sense. With her constantly in the spotlight looking so put together, we sometimes forget that the Duchess was actually all of us in college!

Here are 18 times that Kate proved she was just like all of us.

1. Going all out in the name of school spirit

There is nothing like breaking out the war paint and screaming for your home team. Like Kate, we all love to get a little messy and make some memories with our friends.

2. Hanging out with the roomies

Some people may not get lucky in this area but for those who are best friends with their roommates, they understand the love. It's a dream come true for everyone who has always wanted to live with their best friends. It's like a sleepover that never ends.

3. Dressing up cute on the first day of school...

You got to make a good first impression on your way to school. Whether it's during your 7 A.M or 4 P.M., it's always best to dress to impress.

4. ...and wearing yoga pants for the rest of the year

And this goes all the way until the last week of school when you don't bother getting out of bed to wear pants at all.

5. Going grocery shopping and throwing in cookies, ice-cream, and every type of Pringles because your mom isn't there to say no

You'll probably regret that in a few months when the Freshman Fifteen kicks in.

6. Walking for miles from your car to your dorm carrying groceries

We can't park by the apartment for a solid five minutes to carry our groceries up to the kitchen or we will risk a ticket, but we can walk a few miles carrying food that gets heavier, and heavier, and heavier with every step.

7. Going out for a night on the town on a Friday night

Dancing, laughter, and fun? Everyone in college has been to a party or two. It's a classic part of the college experience. Sometimes you just need a distraction from all the essays and tests.

8. Being so late to class you threw on whatever your hands grabbed next

We've all been there. Our alarm doesn't go off, we press snooze a few too many times, or forget to even set an alarm and next thing you know we are running around the dorm room like Taz from Looney Toons. You throw on whatever, then run to class.

Unfortunately 9/10 times our outfits don't turn out. Although, Kate can certainly pull off this look, no matter how mismatched.

9. Pretending your walking to the same building as the cute boy you met so you have the excuse to keep talking to him

I am very guilty of doing this. Although I missed my class, at least I got to talk to the really cute boy who has class at 9:45 in the STEM building. It was worth it.

10. Sitting on the floor or standing because you're a poor college student who can't afford chairs or tables

Eating on the floor? Always. Being a college kid is tough and sometimes you have to sacrifice some things to obtain the others. Such as choosing chocolate milk and Halo Top over vegetables and hair conditioner.

Judging by Kate's beautiful locks, she chose the conditioner.

Probably the vegetables too.

We should just all follow her example.

11. Going on cute date with the boy you followed to class-turned-boyfriend

Now my short-lived romance may not have extended farther than us talking and walking to his class, but Kate and William obviously had a better ending. Nevertheless, college is the place to grow and date and possibly find the one.

12. Keeping your hair long and growing because you can't afford to get it cut

Don't trust your roommate. No matter how many times she begs you to let her cut it. Don't.

13. Turning 21 and getting dressed up and going out with your best friends

While this one probably doesn't apply to Kate, since you can drink at age 18 in most countries, all my people in the United States know the sweet freedom of turning 21. It's an iconic time in a students life and marks a huge milestone as well.

14. Passing out flyers for some type of movement or protest

Everyone wants to be a part of something bigger - which is why college is the time to stand up for what you believe in. May that be RedforEd, Planned Parenthood, anti-Abortion, Trump, the Wall, pizza bagels, it's all an exercise of the first amendment.

15. Ranting to your friends about the professor that just "doesn't understand you"

You know your thinking about that professor right now as you read this. And you know that that's your reaction whenever they give you a bad grade or say something you disagree with at the tiniest degree.

16. Getting glammed-up for those senior photos

Pick out your best outfit and make sure it's a good hair day because everyone will be viewing these photos forever... and in Kate's place that is more than true. Luckily she looks as gorgeous as ever. Does she ever have a bad hair day?

17. Walking out of your last class knowing you'll never have to write a single paper again

And purposefully not thinking about how you will be going into the real world in less than a few days.

18. When you've graduated and realized you have no idea what you're going to do with your life

Maybe a prince will be right around the corner to sweep you off your feet so you won't have to figure your life out.
Cover Image Credit: Laura Warshauer

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

20 Amazing Songs You Need For Your Travel Music Videos

Planning to make your new travel video? Use one of these songs as your perfect background music!


Based on the mood you're currently feeling, here are 20 different songs categorized by when you should use them for a traveling music video:

1. For Those Classic Summer Feels

"Harvest Moon" by Poolside

"Gone" by JR JR

"Hold My Hand" by Jess Glynne

"Summer" by Calvin Harris

For all the lake adventures and mission trips, these are the perfect songs to put behind them to share your experience. Using these songs, your video can have a perfect summer vibe to it!

2. For A Good Winter Vacation

"The Days" by Avicii

"Something Just Like This" by The Chainsmokers

"Roses" by The Chainsmokers

"It Ain't Me" by Kygo ft. Selena Gomez

It's hard finding a perfect song for a cold winter day. These songs can work amazingly to any snowy adventurous video you've made for your winter break.

3. For Everyday Adventures

"Shut Up and Dance" by WALK THE MOON

"To Let Myself Go" by The Avener

"All That Matters" by Justin Bieber

"Youth" by Troye Sivan

We all have our daily vlogs filled with school and friends. These songs can put a touch of amusement and thrill to these videos!

4. For The Perfect Spring Break At The Beach

"Steal My Girl" by One Direction

"The Nights" by Avicii

"Runaways" by Galantis

"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen

Every girl has the perfect week at the beach once a year! These songs can show off how incredible your experience with your friends was.

5. For Those City Nights

"Bullet Train" by Stephen Swartz

"Love You Like A Love Song" by Selena Gomez

"G.O.M.D." by J. Cole

"The Heart Wants What It Wants" by Selena Gomez

We all take visits to the city and never have the right songs to make a video with. These upbeat songs will make your city vlog into a perfect travel video!

Related Content

Facebook Comments