Turkey with a side of Angst

Its been a long day… It was a long hard day at work and it was a long drive home through that chaotic holiday traffic. You park your car in the driveway and sit for a minute to try to recover your thoughts. There is so much you need to do to get ready for the holiday, where do you start? Maybe you should start by cleaning the house. The in laws wont appreciate visiting a messy home. No, you should probably go to the store and get the turkey before all the good ones are gone. Hmmm…No, you really need to get some personal errands done because those bills aren’t going to pay themselves! Oh man wait, you didn’t budget for all the added expenses of having family over. Uncle John’s boys eat a lot of food and you haven’t even stocked the pantry yet. *Ding Dong*.. Who is at the door? “Hey guys! Its Uncle John! We got excited and thought we would surprise you by coming over early! And we brought some friends!”. Thought to self: I should’ve started preparing sooner this year.

Holidays are a really great time to catch up with family, take time off of work, relax, and appreciate what we have. For some of us that is a lot easier said than done. However, The good news for those who do struggle with anxiety during the holidays is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There are many really helpful ways to help get you through this time. Here are a few:

1. Plan ahead to expect the unexpected- You will feel like you have covered more bases and if/when the unexpected happens you will already have a game plan on how to manage it.

2. Lower your expectations of yourself- Most of our anxiety comes from worrying that we wont meet goals that we make for ourselves. We are perfectionists! If you allow yourself some more wiggle room to make mistakes you will feel less stressed if you don’t reach that goal.

3. Allow yourself to feel your emotions- They are real and something has happened to make you feel this way. It is healthy to recognize what you are feeling. Once you have allowed yourself some time to indulge in your feelings take a second to destress and gather your thoughts. You can meditate or use any other form of relaxation that works for you. Take a deep breath so that you can keep moving forward if necessary.

4. Rest up and revitalize- Taking care of yourself is oh so necessary these days. We are always on the go and sometimes forget or don’t make the time to take care of ourselves. Sleep is a priority for your body to be able to function normally. Nourishing your body by eating healthy foods is also important to keep it moving smoothly. Proper diet and sleep is so helpful because you actually start to feel better about yourself and appreciate yourself more. Once you start taking care of your body and your mind they will take care of you!

5. Seek help! – This comes in many forms. Ask friends and family to aid you in this time of need. Your friends can offer emotional support by being available to talk to you when you start to feel overwhelmed. Family can help out around the house with chores or help you run errands. As always, you can reach out to our professionals to help you create a plan to manage the stress during the holidays!

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Calyen Holmes

About Calyen Holmes

Caylen Holmes is a graduate student at USF St. Pete campus studying Psychology and Infant-Family Mental Health. She is passionate about people and animals and loves learning new things about them. "I love seeing people succeed and find happiness!"