Many of my clients have come in over the past few weeks dreading the holiday family get together. The one time a year you see your Aunt who you know will ask you why you haven’t done anything better with yourself since she saw you last year. She will also remind you that your cousin got married last year and why haven’t you got married yet? This barrage of questions not only makes you feel uncomfortable, but for those of us who have social anxiety, this can leave us running to any room with a locked door to have a full on panic attack in peace. According to the ADAA, an estimated 15 million Americans or 16% of the population, suffers from social anxiety! Even more shocking is that the majority of these people do not seek treatment for their anxiety.
Let’s review what some of the symptoms of anxiety are so that you can recognize it and then take further appropriate steps. Symptoms can include, shortness of breath, shakiness, excessive sweating, shortness of breath, chest pain, feeling faint, light headed, or dizzy, blushing, nausea, and accelerated heart rate. If you have four or more of these symptoms keep reading!
- Prepare. If you know that you have a hard time at your family get together prepare for it. Have an idea of what you’re going to say to your Aunt before you even go to the party. You may also want to think of an out if you need it. For example, you might say that you need to help your mom with the cooking.
- Review your coping skills. If you are not sure what coping skills are, read this article. Have at least 3-5 coping skills that you know you can use during your get together.
- Ask for help. Let your immediate family know the most difficult parts for you and ask them to help you when you need it. They may be able to help you avoid those pestering family members.
Using these three tips should help you navigate your way through the anxiety of your family get together. If you find yourself needing further assistance please give us a call to schedule a session!