How to Cope With Holiday Party Anxiety

Three Methods:Calming Yourself While You’re at the PartyCoping with Party Planning AnxietyDealing with Your Holiday Anxiety in General

A holiday party can be an exciting event, but it can also be a source of anxiety and stress for you. You can cope with holiday party anxiety, however, whether it is while you are at the party or when you are planning the party. You just need to calm yourself, plan well, and manage your anxiety in general.

Method 1
Calming Yourself While You’re at the Party

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    Take a few minutes by yourself.Even a few minutes away from the holiday party can help you cope with your anxiety by separating you from what is stressing you. It will give you the time, quiet, and space you need to calm down.[1]
    • Step outside for a moment or two. Try saying, “I’ll be right back. I need just a moment.”
    • If you need to, make an excuse like, “I’m just running to the car to grab my phone charger. I’ll be right back inside.”
    • Go to another quieter room like the bathroom for just a few minutes to calm yourself down.
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    Take some deep breaths. Deep breathing can help lower your heart rate and blood pressure and decrease other signs of stress and anxiety.[2] When you feel yourself becoming anxious, take a few breaths to calm yourself and help you cope with what is going on.
    • You can inhale slowly through your nose. Try to feel the breath in your stomach. Hold it for a few seconds. Then slowly exhale through your mouth.
    • Repeat this as many times as you need to. Try to focus on your breathing and nothing else when you are doing it.
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    Try mindfulness. There is a respectable amount of research that suggests that using mindfulness techniques can reduce anxiety and help during an anxiety attack. These strategies can help you cope by allowing you to acknowledge your anxiety without becoming overwhelmed by it.[3]
    • Try to focus only on what and how you are feeling. Give each sensation a name or label, but don’t judge it as good or bad.
    • For example, you might think to yourself, “I’m feeling really nervous and my stomach feels queasy. It’s not bad or good, it’s just how I feel.”
    • Allow the feelings and sensations to pass without trying to stop them or rush them to end. Notice when they start to go away and let them.
    • For instance, you might think, “I’m feeling a little less nervous and my stomach feels completely better. My anxiety is going away.”
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    Avoid drugs and alcohol. These are not a good way to cope with your anxiety when you are at a holiday party.[4] You might think getting drunk or using drugs will make you feel more comfortable or friendlier, but in the end, you could end up embarrassing yourself or hurting yourself or someone else.

Method 2
Coping with Party Planning Anxiety

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    Plan in advance.Getting ready for the party by planning in advance will greatly reduce your anxiety about the party.[5] You will have time to make sure you have everything you want and need to make the party a success without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.
    • Make a list of the things you have to get and do to get ready for the holiday party.
    • Include plans for food, location, decorations, guests, music, and entertainment.
    • Remember to include your budget in the plan so that you’ll know how much money you have to spend on everything.
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    Ask for help.Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do everything on your own. Instead, ask your family and friends to help you with the party. Getting the people around you to help with the party can help you cope with your anxiety by giving you less to do and more support.
    • For example, you can ask your best friend to go and buy the decorations or ask your mom to help with the menu.
    • Consider making the event a potluck or even having it catered so you don’t have to worry about cooking.
    • Ask your brother to help with clean-up after the party is over or ask your sister to help you take decorations down.
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    Give yourself a break. Taking some time to yourself to just relax and take care of yourself will help you cope with anxiety of planning a holiday party. Do something that makes you smile, to take your mind off of the holidays and ease the tension.[6]
    • Treat yourself to a bath, a relaxing evening with a book, or a date with your partner (if you have one).
    • Relax and listen to music for a few minutes. Don't do anything else. Just do that.
    • Sit in a quiet place. Put aside all your thoughts and worries and just concentrate on relaxing.

Method 3
Dealing with Your Holiday Anxiety in General

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    Turn to family and friends.One of the worst things you can do when you are having difficulties during the holidays is to isolate yourself.[7] While you don’t have to attend every holiday party there is, make sure you are spending time with the people you care about.
    • Spend time doing something fun or relaxing with them that’s not related to the holiday at all. For example, take a hike, go for a swim, or grab some frozen yogurt.
    • You can ask someone to just be with you without doing anything.
    • You might say, “Could you come by and just be with me? I don’t want to do anything, but I don’t want to be alone, either.”
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    Express how you are feeling. You might suffer from anxiety in general, or you get anxious during the holidays, or you might be just anxious about the party. Whatever your reason, holding how you are feeling inside will only make you feel worse. The best way to cope with holiday anxiety is to express how you are feeling in some way.[8]
    • Write about your feelings of anxiety in your journal. Write about exactly what you are feeling and why you think you are feeling that way.
    • Do something creative like draw a picture or write a song about how you’re feeling.
    • Talk to someone close to you about what you are feeling.
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    Make your health a priority. It’s easy to lose sleep, develop bad eating habits, and skip physical activity because of the stress and activity of a holiday. But you will cope with anxiety the holiday causes you if you make sure you are taking care of your health.[9]
    • Go to bed at a regular time each night and wake up at about the same time each morning.
    • Eat healthy meals and snacks to give your body the nutrients it needs to keep you energized, focused, and calm.
    • Make sure you do something active like taking a five minute walk each day or stretching before you go to sleep.
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    Talk to a professional. Sometimes feelings of anxiety and holiday stress can become overwhelming.[10] If this is your case, the best way to cope is seek the help of a professional like your doctor, a therapist, or a counselor.
    • A professional can teach you effective coping strategies for handling your anxiety in any situation.
    • They can also let you know if medication is an option for helping you cope with how you are feeling.
    • Ask someone you trust for a referral to a professional that you can talk to.

Article Info

Categories: Stress Anxiety and Crisis Management