Anxiety During the Holidays | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

Anxiety During the Holidays

By Johnny Anonymous

For the most part, I really do enjoy the holidays. It’s time I get to be home and spend time with my family. And I can’t complain about getting a few presents either! I just try to block out all of the many things that push me back into my shell. 

Buying presents

When you try to make sure everyone is always happy, buying a present that someone truly is enjoys is an incredible feeling. But the process of buying that gift can be agonizing. What if they don’t like what you got them? What if you didn’t spend enough? What if you didn’t spend enough and they think you don’t care about them? Should I even buy them a present? And that’s all before you even give them the gift! If you have to watch them open it, you watch their eyes and face to see if their reaction is genuine. But the monkey mind takes over regardless and convinces you they’re only putting a show regardless.

What I try to tell myself: Go with your gut feeling on what to get some one. It’s the right amount and the right thing. And if you are wrong, at least you didn’t a lot of time worrying over it.

Holiday parties

It’s hard not to think about all of the holiday parties you didn’t get invited to, or ones that you used to be invited to, but no longer do, but even if I do get invited, the anxiety that comes from all of thoughts and attempts to talk to people you don’t know is debilitating. Even if something is good… it can’t be good.

What I try to tell myself: If I do go: These are people who I don’t know and don’t care about. If they don’t like me, so what. I won’t likely see them again. If I don’t get invited: These are people I don’t know. Who cares.

New Year’s Eve

The bane of an anxious person’s existence if you’re single. It’s the fear of 10 holiday parties all wrapped into one. You’re trying to have as much as you can, but ultimately when the countdown starts and you don’t have your midnight kiss your heart starts racing and you feel alone.

What I try to tell myself: There is an inordinate amount of pressure put on one night. A stupid amount of pressure on one night so over produced that even if you do have fun, it’s probably not going to live up to the hype. January 1 is only day one; you have 364 more days to make this year the best yet.


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