I want to interrupt my normal beauty blogging to talk about something that effects me very personally. My anxiety. If you prefer my regular beauty posts as opposed to posts like these then feel free to check back in next Tuesday to read about beauty things that I still suck at.
There are thousands of people whose mental health effects them in some way during the holidays. Even with Thanksgiving already being behind us the time between now and Christmas and even New Years is really difficult for me. I want to really focus on my personal experience because I know that everyone experiences anxiety differently and I can’t speak for everyone.
Some of my biggest struggles
One thing that makes the holidays difficult for me is traveling to visit family. There are kind of two parts to this one. I never really know when a panic attack is going to strike so it is really hard to always be prepared for it. I know that Chris can help me to calm down sometimes but what if we are around family that doesn’t understand what is going on? What if we are in a place where I can’t do some of the things that help me to cope? What if they think I’m crazy?
These are some of the things that go through my mind when we are traveling. The biggest thing is that I can’t really explain what’s going on when I get anxious like that and the people around me will think that I’m crazy.
Are these fears irrational? Probably. Do they keep me from wanting to travel and just stay home where the only person who can think I’m crazy is Chris? Yes.
There are certain triggers that can’t be avoided in some situations. For example, I work in retail so when I get to be irritable because of my anxiety I have to bury that under a deep layer of a customer service smile and fear of being fired.
What I do to try and help
One thing that I do is I write this blog. I hope that maybe it will be a little easier for people to understand that I can’t do constant activities or when I am feeling anxious I can’t just calm down at the drop of a hat.
Another thing that I do is I keep a panic attack emergency kit with me when we are traveling or when we are going to be around family/friends for extended periods of time. For me this includes lavender/ginger tea packets, unscented lotion mixed with calming essential oils, and headphones. These things will usually help me to calm my anxiety enough to get to a place where I can do some breathing exercises and go for a walk.
With Christmas around the corner it can feel like an obligation to visit family and friends and to not feel like an inconvenience. Traveling and visiting can be stressful for me and I am sure for others. It is tempting to just stay home and send a card. If that is what you need to do to make sure you are in a healthy place I will be right there with you!
When your parents want you to come downstairs and talk to Aunt So-and-so or when your family wants you to go caroling on strangers doorsteps anxiety can rear its ugly head. Sometimes going out to distract yourself is the answer but sometimes staying in and focusing on yourself is the best thing to do. For me, I just have to take it one thing at a time so that I can do what it best for me.