incredible-marketing Arrow

Set your mind to it, we tell ourselves. Don’t be anxious. Be cool. Be normal. Mental health conditions like anxiety come with many signs and symptoms, some of which are obvious to us and some of which are not. Though we can mentally prepare ourselves to cope with our anxiety during high simulation scenarios, like holiday celebrations, our body may have different ideas. Anxiety is experienced in mind and body. Part of the amygdala’s response system to threat, the fight, flight, or freeze system, the body is prepared to act ahead of the anxiety. You may experience physical symptoms you want to ignore, because you are assertively decided in your mental state that you will not be anxious during the holiday celebrations.

Ignoring your mind and body’s needs can set you up for a more difficult experience than acknowledging and exploring what you need to take care of your anxiety. Look for some of these physical symptoms as an indicator that you need to take a break for self-care and reboot, no matter the situation.

Exhaustion: Anxiety keeps your energy and alertness on high, even when it is occurring in the background of your immediate awareness. Holidays can be exhausting to begin with. You might be pushing yourself too hard in your anxiety if you notice exhaustion physically- your muscles are tired, your limbs are tired, and you feel like you could sleep for a week.Skin breakout: The holidays bring a new variety of food you may not eat the rest of the year. The mind and the stomach are connected, science has found. A sudden change in your diet could aggravate your anxiety and cause different reactions, like experiencing the development of a rash or breaking out in acne.Muscle tension: You often aren’t aware of how many different areas of your body are tense. Mindfulness exercises like progressive muscle relaxation techniques help you tune your mind into your body and let go of muscle tension.Upset stomach: Many people experience the butterflies, feelings of nerves and an upset stomach, now and again. When you are living with anxiety this feeling can be amplified and feel to be occurring all the time.Severe symptoms: If your physical anxiety levels start to reach a severe level with symptoms like tingling fingers, chest pains of constrictions, heart palpitations, or shortness of breath, it is time to stop and acknowledge your anxiety.

There’s no shame in self-care

Through treatment and recovery, you will learn to identify your specific needs for taking care of yourself during an anxious moment. Whether you meditate, practice mindfulness, or spend some time coloring and listening to music, it is important, especially during the holidays, to make sure you are able to take a pause and care for yourself the way that you need to be cared for.