Coping With Anxiety at Holiday Parties

Holidays are approaching, and the party invitations are beginning to arrive. You want to be there with your friends and family but the anxiety sets in right as you step through the door. Social situations tend to bring up a lot of feelings and anxieties that we aren't normally focused on. Feelings of self-consciousness, fear, loneliness, etc. all seem to pop up when everyone else looks like their having a great time (spoiler alert: it is normal and natural to feel anxious in social situations - others are probably feeling the same way). With your anxieties suffocating you like a tacky holiday sweater, it's easy to think to yourself, “I shouldn't have let them talk me into this.” But the reality is, you do want to be there and have a good time (you wouldn't have come if you didn't want to)!

So, here are a few suggestions to help get you through the event and maybe even enjoy yourself:

  • Go with a friend! Entering the room with a buddy seems to lessen the punch of anxiety and stress.

  • Smell good with a little dab of essential oil: pick one with a calming effect like lavender or maybe a blend like Balance or Serenity that helps you breathe deep and take the edge off.

  • Eat a healthy balanced meal with a good protein before heading out (salmon is a good choice).

  • Limit your alcohol consumption. While alcohol may seem to help you feel "fearless" at first, it is easy to get carried away - leading to potentially anxiety inducing situations. Also, once the serotonin levels resume their normal levels, the anxiety returns. Listen to your body and trust yourself. And always drink responsibly.

  • Exercise earlier that day. It will release natural endorphins and boost your self-esteem. Plus, it's a good conversation starter about the yoga studio you are going to.

While we can’t promise any of these are an all-out cure for anxiety, walking into a situation prepared with the right tools can make a world of difference. So, get out there and enjoy the party!