Dealing with GAD during holidays

The holiday (from Thanksgiving to the New Year) should be a happy time full of celebrations with family and friends. But for many people, “the best time of the year” brings only the anxiety and stress of the holiday.

Although many people feel overwhelmed and stressed during the holidays, if you have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), you may feel completely triggered at this time of the year.

Understanding generalized anxiety

It’s natural to worry about buying suitable gifts, traveling away from home, or meeting relatives who haven’t seen you in a long time. However, when this fear becomes sleepless nights and endless worries, GAD may be at work.of

If you are not sure whether this is your general anxiety or your normal holiday worry, ask yourself: How would a typical, rational person react in the same situation? If the answer is much less than the anxiety and worry you have experienced, it may indicate a problem.

Holiday stress

Although we like holidays very much, it is undeniable that they are stressful periods of the year. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), almost half of women (44%) and one-third of men (31%) report increased stress before and after the holidays.of

Usually, we find ourselves buying gifts for people we don’t know well, meeting people we don’t really like, and usually doing things in a compressed manner-it feels like we need to pack as much as we can. If you have GAD, this feeling will increase exponentially. Coping sometimes feels almost impossible.

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When your expectations for this time of year do not match reality, bigger problems will arise. This may lead to depression or anxiety because you have not “reached” the ideal you imagined. Therefore, the first step in dealing with holiday anxiety is to say to yourself: “I don’t have any expectations.” Repeat it again: “I don’t have expectations.”

8 tips for survival during GAD holidays

Here are some practical steps you can take to reduce stress and anxiety before the holidays (including holidays).

Keep things simple

This is not a race to see how luxurious gifts you can buy or how luxurious meals you can cook. Eliminate as many details as possible so you don’t have to worry about it. Plan a light meal instead of making a meal yourself. Buy gift cards for everyone on the holiday gift list. Accept the idea that you don’t have to do everything.

Prioritize your health

At this time of the year, it’s easy to forget your needs and make your health decline. But taking good care of yourself can reduce anxiety and improve overall health. Make sure you eat healthy food, stay active, and get enough sleep. Think twice about excessive drinking-it may actually aggravate your anxiety symptoms.

Arrange time for worry

Don’t worry about it all day, or you will soon be exhausted. Instead, schedule a dedicated time once a day and do nothing but worry about a few minutes. Write down the worries that occurred during the day, and then address them at a specific time. Propose a reasonable solution and write it down.

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Make time for you

Arrange a time to relax during the day. Even 15 minutes alone can give you the energy you need to deal with everything you encounter.

Relaxation exercises such as yoga or meditation are usually very helpful. Or, you can find a quiet space to sip chamomile tea and light scented candles. You can even use your free time to write a diary or read a book. It’s up to you, just choose something that relaxes your body and calms your mind.

Plan ahead

Identify your anxiety triggers and do your best to plan ahead to avoid them. If you are worried about spending too much money, please make a budget as soon as possible. Likewise, if holiday shopping is stressful for you, please end it as soon as possible. If social situations make you uncomfortable, see if your friends are also participating in the same activities.

The more time you prepare for upcoming events, the less you will feel overwhelmed and anxious.

Some simple things, such as rechecking the departure and arrival times of flights a few days before the trip, can greatly ease your travel anxiety.


You can say “no” to things that don’t belong to your scene. But what if you are invited to an event that you absolutely must attend? Stay long enough for people to remember where you are, and then leave. There is no rule that you must stay overnight. Let those who like to party last until late at night.

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The key is polite but firm. You might say, “I appreciate this invitation, but I can’t. How about we plan a one-on-one meeting soon?”

Develop an anxiety action plan

Hope for the best and prepare for the worst. It is very important to develop an action plan during the holidays. Determine how you will deal with growing anxiety, for example by practicing anxiety-reducing techniques or following a set course of action regardless of how you feel.

Seek support

Remember, it’s okay to feel anxious and ask for help. If the vacation is difficult for you, please let your friends and family know that you may need some extra support.

Practice secret signals with someone close to you. If you feel overwhelmed, he can help you during the party. Ask for hugs, understanding, unconditional support or any help you need. If this does not solve the problem, please try to contact a health professional for additional support and resources.

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Everyone feels a little holiday anxiety from time to time. However, if your condition is extreme and interferes with your enjoyment of the season, it may be worthwhile to talk to your doctor or mental health professional. Uncontrollable anxiety can easily ruin your holiday spirit, but it is also possible to overcome it.