While many people look forward to the busy schedule of glitzy holiday parties and get-togethers, for those with social anxiety it can be a season of difficult situations. If you are a person who dreads rather than anticipates social occasions you may be affected by social anxiety disorder. Here are some coping strategies to help you get through the holiday season if you live with social anxiety:
- Be Selective
You don’t have to attend every event to which you are invited. Choose the ones where you’ll feel most comfortable and graciously decline the rest. However, responding “yes” to a few social events is good as you connect with others on a small scale.
- Be Healthy
Eat right, get regular sleep and exercise often. These healthful habits will strengthen you toward overcoming stress and anxiety.
- Be Prepared
Not knowing what to say can be a big part of social anxiety. Spend some time catching up on current events or informing yourself about the hobbies and interests of your host or fellow guests before a social event.
- Be Early
Another factor in social anxiety is dread of being the object of attention. To help with anxiety over this arrive at events early.
- Be Sober
Drinking to calm anxiety can lead to deeper anxiety. Try deep-breathing and positive self-talk instead.
- Attend With a Friend
If you ask someone to accompany you and be your support at social functions it can make attending much less of an uncertainty.
At Family Guidance Center, we understand social anxiety and can help you learn positive skills for overcoming the paralysis of fear. You can come in at any point during the holiday season and start gaining control over the negative thinking that keeps you from enjoying social interactions.