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Self-Care For Holiday Anxiety

In our previous blog, we discussed the many reasons why anxiety can be at a peak during this time of year due to the buzz of the holiday season. As stress runs high to satisfy all the demands of the holidays, anxiety can also be buzzing due to the stress, and many underlying issues. Holidays are triggering for trauma survivors, for many reasons, from the sheer bustle and stress to the time of year when traumas may have occurred at holiday celebrations. Even for those who are living in recovery from trauma but have not been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, anxiety can still run high. Trauma is, among many other things, a malfunctioning response of the sympathetic nervous system. When a traumatic event occurs, it deeply impacts the nervous system and changes the way the nervous system handles and processes stress of any kind. Self-care for holiday anxiety must include the practices and therapeutic approaches that are proven to deactivate the sympathetic nervous system and instead activate the parasympathetic nervous system to introduce a greater sense of calm.

Yoga, meditation, art therapy, and spending time in nature are just a few examples of proven practices for activating the parasympathetic nervous system. Though there are general approaches that science has confirmed are both mentally and physically relaxing, each of us finds calm in a different way. For some of us, slowing down brings us to a place of peace. For others of us, doing something active which brings our heart rate up brings us to a place of peace. We have to find the activities which work for us in a grounding, calming way, then prioritize putting those activities into our schedule.

Your daily schedule should consist of all the necessary self-care routines it usually does, like eating regular, well-rounded meals, having your scheduled appointments with your therapist, connecting with friends, getting exercise, journaling, and attending a recovery support group meeting. In addition to your regularly scheduled self-care should be all the extra things you need to feel calm and grounded. Work in yoga daily. Take walks outside. Commit to spending time immersed in what makes you feel connected. The more time you devote to yourself and wellbeing, the better you will feel and the more manageable your anxiety will become.

Eventually, there is nowhere left for trauma to go when we leave it unresolved, and it shows up everywhere in our life begging to be healed. Make the decision today to enter trauma recovery and find healing. Call The Guest House Ocala to learn more about our residential care programs for trauma, addictions, and related mental health issues: 855-483-7800