Top Tips for Serene Holiday Events

Top Tips for Serene Holiday Events

Contributing to our community can be a great way to enjoy the holidays. Here I am with my crew at Brainerd Skate Co in 2022, a store I started and then donated to the City of Brainerd to give people a fun, healthy way to come together.


For those of us with chronic anxiety, holiday events can be stressful.

Last week I wrote about how holiday events have gotten a lot easier for me, now that my anxiety is properly managed. Get this: I even enjoy them.

That says a lot for somebody like me, who suffered panic attacks at social gatherings in the past.

So if you struggle with anxiety and social events like I have, here are my top tips for serene holiday events.

Before you go:

Attend to your own mental health first. Make sure your anxiety is managed. Consider all the other stressors in that day, in that week, and take care of yourself first. If you’re in a flare up, don’t go. If you’re in a good frame of mind, go for it.

Get help from trusted people – family or friends. It could be your spouse or a family member you trust who already knows you suffer anxiety. Talk to them before you go, and get their support at the event.

If you go:

Ask yourself what you can bring to the situation – what good, positive, joyful thing you can contribute – and keep reminding yourself of what you are there to do.

Stay in gratitude. Make quick gratitude lists in your head at the event. Keep your mind focused on the positive.

Practice mindfulness and meditation techniques. Take short breaks to go sit by yourself and focus on your breath. Apps on your phone are awesome meditation tools that you can use – just go outside, or to a bedroom, or even to the bathroom, and take a five-minute meditation break. The goal is to pause, regroup, and regain yourself so that you can rejoin the party.

Important: Even if you’re not feeling overwhelmed, it can be really good to take short breaks to regroup so that you keep your equilibrium and not get overwhelmed.

When you leave:

Keep the timing that works best for you. You don’t have to be at the event all day and all night. Go, do what you came to do, and when you’re ready, go home. There’s no harm in leaving before other people. You may want to leave before you’re past your limit.

Afterwards, practice some techniques to recalibrate – it could be listening to music, or talking to your trusted person, meditating, or anything you find relaxing to wind down.

For those of us who suffer chronic anxiety, all of these practices can help support a fun, healthy, and serene holiday season.

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