Anxiety During the Holidays? Here’s How to Deal

The last two months of the year are a time for families to get together and celebrate. Even though this should be a time of joy, there are those who struggle with intense anxiety and stress.


There are very few people who escape feeling this at least once or twice during the season, but there are ways that you can combat or even negate it. This is true even for those who suffer from anxiety disorders like GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder).

If you suffer from this or just want to figure out how not to go crazy during the holidays, then keep reading. We are going to discuss just how to deal with that holiday anxiety and hope that it helps just a little.  

Anxiety During the Holidays? Here's How to Deal
Image Source: Cedars-Sinai

Understanding What GAD Is

It is quite natural to feel scared when someone from far away travels to your home and brings gifts for you, or perhaps you are the one traveling far from your home to see and talk with relatives you have not seen in a very long time. This apprehension could result in sleepless nights and a high level of stress. 

If you’re not sure what you’re experiencing, you need to ask yourself if a typical, rational person would react the way you’re reacting. 


If their reaction is different from yours, you need to know and understand that you have symptoms of GAD

What Sets GAD Apart From Normal Anxiety?

GAD Symptoms

With GAD, you might feel increased levels of stress during the holidays. We all enjoy the holidays, but we also know that they can be quite stressful

Believe it or not, about 44% of women and 31% of men have complained about the high amount of stress they feel during the holidays. 

We usually notice that we have to go shopping to purchase gifts for people we don’t even know that much. If we are traveling, we have to pack and prepare for a trip, and that creates another set of challenges


If you suffer from GAD, these feelings of yours could be multiplied. Trying to cope with them could feel nearly impossible.

Not to mention, a lot of things you expect from the holidays don’t match what actually happens. This could make it feel like the world is crumbling around you. Hang in there, though, I’ve got just the thing for you. 

Remember that kids have stress and anxiety too, especially around holidays, so the below methods can help them as well.

How To Manage Your Anxiety During the Holidays

If you feel like everything is not working out exactly as you planned it, calm down before you head down the path of depression. It is a very slippery slope between anxiety and depression. 

One of the first steps of handling the pressure is to not have any expectations. It would help if you told yourself this as much as possible. 

Holidays are already stressful, plus we are just trying to manage our lives from surviving the pandemic. This stress is bound to increase. Add in the psychological pressure, too, and it is a trying time for people dealing with GAD. 


You need to settle down and practice the following steps. These will help reduce your anxiety and stress levels, which will help you manage yourself through the holidays. 

It would be best if you kept everything straightforward and basic. There’s no competition regarding how great and epic your presents are or how wonderful your meals for the holidays taste. 

It would help if you eliminate the stress from many of the unnecessary details. You could make use of a potluck or purchase gift cards for everyone. They would be excited, and they know you care for them, too. 

Going over the top every time is not always the answer. You can make an effort to get less stressful presents that anyone would still love and enjoy. 

Anxiety During the Holidays? Here's How to Deal
Image Source: ReachOut Australia


Holidays can drive you crazy and put you under unnecessary stress. It is even harder for those who already struggle with anxiety and stress, and that means you need tools in your toolbox to help you get through it all. 

That is why we have taken a look at the differences between the different types of anxiety and how to manage them. Holidays should be a time of fun and joyous celebration, and we hope that the ideas above can help you do just that. We wish you a happy and stress-free holiday season!