Some Holiday Survival Tips for Introverts

I work with a lot of introverts- many of whom dread the social demands on the holiday season. This article gives some tips on how to get through the next month or so of holiday gatherings. I would also add: look for another introvert at said social event and strike up a conversation. Rest assured that you aren’t the only one looking forward to going home and getting into sweats!

Anxiety as Anger

Anxiety can manifest itself in many different ways- sadness, perfectionism, workaholism, debilitation, and, maybe surprisingly, anger. Read more HERE.

Don’t Overthink It: Tips for Reducing Stress When Hosting for the Holidays

Photo Credit: https://financialwomensf.org/04_HOLIDAY-PARTY.jpg

By Jennifer Scott

When the holidays are fast approaching, that means holiday parties, family get-togethers, and lots and lots of socializing. If you decide, or are asked, to host a party for your friends and family, the stress of it all can get to you pretty quickly, especially if this is the first big holiday meal you’ve ever hosted. The following is a quick list of some tips that you can use to manage anxiety while planning and throwing a holiday party.

1. Nobody is perfect, so don’t try to be. A lot of party hosts find themselves trying to be perfectionists. Maybe the furniture needs to look a certain way or the decorations have to hang just so, but this simply causes more stress than there needs to be. Remember that, at the end of the party, no one’s favorite part is going to be the decorations or the cleanliness of your home. Their favorite part will be the great company and the time spent with them.

2. Try hosting a small party before moving on to bigger events. According to Diane Worthington, author of the award-winning book, Seriously Simple Parties, starting with a small party of two to six guests is a great start, especially if there’s a big party coming up that you’re nervous about. Tone things down and keep it simple, and when your small party goes well, you’ll be much more confident when your bigger event comes up.

3. Plan food in advance. One mistake that hosts often make when planning a get-together is not having enough food for all their guests. First, be sure to ask everyone invited to the event to RSVP, so you know exactly how many will be attending so you can plan the amount of food to make or purchase accordingly. If it’s a big holiday dinner, Thanksgiving for example, be sure you have enough places for everyone to sit, whether it’s at a large table or a few smaller tables that can be pushed close together.

Another big mistake a host can make is not taking into account their guests’ dietary restrictions. If you have three vegetarians coming and six out of seven of your dishes have meat in them, your vegetarian friends may feel left out. Also be sure to find out if anyone has strong food allergies to avoid any catastrophes in that department. If cooking becomes too stressful, consider making your dinner a potluck style event where everyone brings their own dish. Again though, make sure to let anyone know about dietary restrictions or food allergies to keep your food diverse.

4. Don’t be afraid to look online for ideas. In most cases, the internet is your friend. Websites like Pinterest are right at your fingertips to help you come up with creative recipes and decorating ideas for your party. Popsugar’s “7 Websites That Make Party Planning a Piece of Cake” suggests websites such as Postable, which helps with invitation creation, or Elliewood to help with decor. You don’t have to come up with all of the ideas on your own, so use whatever you can to take the pressure off.

5. Remember the party isn’t just for them, it’s for you too. One of the most important things to remember when throwing an event is that you’re part of it, too. Remember to sit down, relax, eat, and have fun. Your family and friends are definitely going to be excited to spend time with you and honored to be invited to your gathering. If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.

Whether it’s a small get-together for you and your closest friend or a big family event like dinner on Christmas day, things can get a little overwhelming for the party host. With these tips, you should be able to manage some of your party anxiety, and when all’s said and done, your family is sure to be talking about your party for weeks after.

With SpiritFinder, Jennifer Scott offers a forum where those living with anxiety and depression can discuss their experiences. 

Rethinking Perfectionism (for Women)

“There is no such thing as perfection. It’s merely a constructed idea, and believing in it not only wastes time and energy, but also provides a false sense of hope and security. Teach your girl that making mistakes is a natural and necessary part of life. The human experience is complete with triumphs and failures, moments of feeling good and also times of feeling not good enough. There is no perfect person, perfect day, or perfect moment. And there is certainly no such thing as the perfect life she believes populates her Instagram feed. There’s always a story behind the snapshot, and what she sees is not what she gets. Girls need to know this.”

Read the full article HERE.

 

When Family Get-Togethers are Stressful

Yesterday not go as you had hoped as you gathered with family? It is easy to idealize family times together, and then feel stress and experience some serious regression (everyone goes back to their old, younger ways) when everyone is in one space. This is completely normal. If you are stressed or worried about upcoming Christmas/holiday get-togethers because of how Thanksgiving went, check out these holiday tips.

Practicing Gratitude…Even When It’s Hard

If it’s been a difficult month/year for you, it may be hard to feel grateful; however, it’s still important. Wallowing in self-pity will only make it worse. If you are having trouble feeling grateful in this “season of gratitude,” check out this article….hopefully it will help reshape your perspective.

Reframing Stress

Even though I focus a lot on emotions and relationships in my counseling sessions, I also have my clients learn to reframe their negative, irrational, or unhelpful thoughts. Below is an article called “How to Flip the Switch on Stress” (from Psychology Today). Thinking about our stress (or any situation, really) differently can be empowering and allow us to move forward and handle the task before us. Read the article HERE.