New Delhi: While we all talk about the joys of festivals and the joys that come with the holiday season, there are many people who suffer from ‘festive anxiety’ in silence. The situation can be very painful because you feel anxious when everyone around you is happy and celebrating.
Dhruv (name changed) is a young college student who feels very nervous about social events. But he knows that if he does not attend festival parties and celebrations, he will find his classmates awkward. The pressure to appear outgoing and cheerful is so great that he attends a few events despite his anxiety getting significantly worse.
Similarly, Kavita (name changed), vacations means going out for vacation, looking good so the pictures are ‘Insta-worthy’ and then trying to make sure her social accounts reflect how much she To be happy and what a great time that is. The pressure to look extremely happy and successful on social media makes the holidays quite stressful for them. She really feels quite relieved when life comes back to her daily life.
Due to suffering from festive anxiety
Apart from the joy and excitement, the festive season can also give rise to various emotions among the people. “For some people, the inevitable socialization that festivals bring provokes intense anxiety. For others, the pressure to project a certain image on social media takes a toll. There are also those for whom festive occasions mean home. But the workload increases while the rest of the family enjoys it,” says Dr Preeti Parakh, Psychiatrist and Head, Empower The Centre, Kolkata.
She also points out that the holiday season can also trigger feelings of loneliness, home anxiety or bring back memories of loved ones that are no longer there for individuals.
Depending on your financial circumstances, the celebration could mean a huge strain on the pockets of many.
How to deal with festive anxiety
Whatever the cause of festive anxiety, below are some tips by Dr. Preeti Parekh to help you deal with it this festive season:
1. Say no to anxiety-provoking activities. If it is not possible to avoid certain events, reduce the amount of time spent there to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
2. Plan the holidays in advance. Whether it’s buying gifts or planning a holiday trip, making elaborate lists and avoiding last-minute surprises can be difficult to deal with.
3. Stick to the budget. Decide how much you can comfortably spend on your new clothes or gifts, and don’t overdo it. Start shopping before the holidays so there’s no last minute rush.
4. Accept as you are. Don’t feel pressured to live up to the expectations of others. There’s nothing wrong with not being a party animal. There’s no need to prove on social media that you had a better time than others.
5. Avoid the consumption of alcohol and drugs. Many people believe that there can be no pleasure without alcohol and drugs. Unfortunately, this can lead to a worsening of anxiety.
6. Lower your expectations from the holidays. Celebrations and parties are not necessary. Travel to foreign destinations is not mandatory. Vacations can also be spent watching TV at home or doing coursework.
7. Lower your expectations of yourself. Whether it’s arranging a dinner party or buying gifts for everyone, ask others to help with tasks. There is no need to do everything yourself.
8. Share your problems with friends and family members. They can help you deal with situations that are especially difficult. Taking a friend to a party provides support and also makes it easy to leave early when needed.
9. Try to stick to the daily routine as much as possible during the holidays. Heavy meals, upset stomach and worrying late at night can add to the anxiety.
10. If the concern is too much, seek professional help. Relaxation exercises such as slow deep breathing can help control anxiety. There is also the option of starting medications for anxiety or cognitive behavioral therapy, or both.