Holiday Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders

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Occasional anxiety is a normal response to the stressful circumstances of life. You may feel tense and worried or your blood pressure may increase before a test or when you are making an important decision. As with stress, anxiety is pretty easy to manage even during the holidays.

Tips for Reducing Your Anxiety During the Holidays

The holiday season can be a fun and joyous time. It can also be difficult and stressful.  Shopping for gifts, attending social events, and entertaining guests can quickly become overwhelming. According to the American Psychological Association, 8 out of 10 people anticipate increased stress over the holidays. Here are some tips to minimize your stress and anxiety and enjoy the holiday festivities.

  • Set a spending budget: The holidays seem to go hand in hand with money stress. Plan ahead and set a realistic budget to reduce your financial anxiety.
  • Exercise and self-care: Exercise will reduce stress and elevate your mood due to the production of endorphins (natural painkillers) in the brain. Spend some time each day doing an activity you enjoy. Listening to music, meditating, or getting a massage will keep you calm and centered as you deal with holiday stresses.
  • Keep it simple: Unrealistic expectations can quickly become overwhelming and lead to feelings of stress and anxiety. Rather than focus on perfection and doing everything yourself, invite your family and friends to assist you.
  • Pick your battles: Being in close quarters with some of your family members can be difficult. Rather than being bothered by differences in personalities, accept the differences, and if necessary, agree to disagree.

Anxiety Disorders

These tips may minimize your stress and anxiety, but don’t be afraid to speak with a doctor or mental health professional if you’re having a difficult time. Some people may simply need additional advice in regards to managing their anxiety. Others may be experiencing something more serious. People with anxiety disorders experience anxiety that does not go away and can get worse over time. These feelings can interfere with daily activities and affect job performance, school work, and relationships. It is possible that an overactive thyroid, low blood sugar, and certain medications can imitate or worsen an anxiety disorder.

While a primary care provider can perform an anxiety disorder evaluation, a thorough mental health evaluation is also helpful. If you or a loved one is experiencing feelings of anxiety, please call us to discuss your options today at Georgia Psychiatric Consultants.

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