7 Tips For Dealing With Social Anxiety During The Holidays

Reduce Holiday Anxiety in 20 Minutes or Less

Year after year it happens. The peace and quiet you work so hard to maintain goes to battle with the festive and frantic holiday season. 

Stores are filled with tenacious shoppers. Christmas music fills the air for months straight.  Distant relatives and family members come out of the woodwork. 

It’s time to enter the madhouse and you know how important it is to bring every ounce of sanity you can muster.

Social anxiety can be a troublesome struggle at any time of the year, but when the holidays roll around it’s hard for many of us to keep our cool.

During this time of year, it becomes even more important for folks who do struggle with anxiety to stick firmly to a self-care regimen, get proper rest and exercise and take enough time to themselves to recharge. 

Shah Saffron CBD’s founder Tony Moayyer is no stranger to the everyday struggle of anxiety. Several years ago Tony would spend months isolating himself from family and friends because it all felt too overwhelming. And during the holidays? Tony often felt he had to ride the waves of a panic attack for weeks at a time. You can read more about his journey here.

The good news is that if you experience a similar struggle, there are a range of simple and effective ways to reduce holiday stress and even start enjoying the chaotic and celebratory nature of this time of year. 

Since you’ve got a lot on your plate and schedules get filled rather quickly during the holidays, here are…

7 Effective Ways to Restore and Recharge in 20 Minutes or Less 

1. Bundle up and go for a walk

No matter the weather, being outdoors has been linked to improved energy levels and stress reduction. Breathe fresh air and take in the view without a goal to get anywhere—it can be tremendously relieving to the nervous system. Imagine for a moment, taking 20 minutes of your time to stroll around the neighborhood without a single outcome in mind. Stroll just to stroll. What a relaxing concept.

2. Trade small talk for a cat nap

Feeling overwhelmed? Exhausted? Just made it back home from the shopping mall with less than an hour before your next family gathering? Social anxiety threatening to bubble up? Then it’s a great time to lay back, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.

Let’s not call it meditation… Let’s call it a catnap. People who struggle with social anxiety often just need permission to relax and do nothing for a moment. While it’s important to spend time with those you love, healthy boundaries and “me time” can help you really enjoy that time. 

According to sleep expert Sara C. Mednick, Ph.D., “You can get incredible benefits from 15 to 20 minutes of napping. You reset the system and get a burst of alertness and increased motor performance. That’s what most people really need to stave off sleepiness and get an energy boost.”

3. Put a limit on sugar and alcohol intake

Maybe sugar and alcohol are two substances you’ve used to cope with the social intensity of this time of year. It’s true for many folks.

But ultimately, both of these substances create more physiological stress and weaken your immunity so we want to offer a few alternatives to these temptations…

  • If you’re baking sweets, try using 25% less sugar in the recipe (It will still be sweet enough!) or substituting white sugar with a sweetener with a low-glycemic index such as coconut sugar or maple syrup.
  • Warming up at a holiday event or a family dinner? Replace a cocktail with a cup of Kava tea which has been shown to reduce anxiety and ease hangovers.
  • Instead of having another drink, take 40mg of Shah Saffron CBD oil. You’ll likely notice a light calming effect and be able to “drop-in” to the social atmosphere with more ease.
  • Bring protein-rich snacks with you on your errands and even to social gatherings where you know you’ll be tempted by sugary sweets. Protein consumption helps to regulate blood sugar and reduce sugar cravings.

4. Take an Epsom salt bath

Okay, we know… this one might steal more than 20 minutes of your time. BUT, if you don’t have much time to spare, try an Epsom salt foot bath. 

Just 15-20 minutes of a warm foot soak has the power to strengthen the immune system, alleviate cold and flu symptoms (another nuisance during this time of year) and reduce anxiety. 

Make the water just the temperature you like, add half a cup or so of Epsom salt and step in. Bathing the feet has an exceptionally calming effect on the nervous system. This will be obvious when you try it.

5. Lavender essential oil can help you stay calm

Aromatherapy is an exceptionally effective way to reduce anxiety and enhance your mood. Just keeping a small bottle of lavender essential oil on you at all times so that in particularly stressful moments you can pull it out and give it a good whiff, will help you to remain calm through it all. 

You can also use a lavender stuffed eye pillow over your eyes during your catnap or place just a dab of the essential oil underneath your nose before you run your errands for the day.

Lavender is also effective in relieving gastrointestinal distress, which is another common ailment during this time of year when we all tend to indulge in rich and sugary treats.

6. Exercise regularly to feel comfortable

Let’s not focus on the intensity or the duration of your workout throughout the holidays. These are busy times and your energy is likely in high demand.

It may be more useful to focus on the regularity instead. Spending just 20 minutes each day getting your heart rate up is linked to significant stress reduction and mood improvement. 

Bonus if you break a sweat in those 20 minutes, as sweating detoxes the body of heavy metals which have been shown to affect mental health and contribute to anxiety symptoms.

Learn more about reducing stress with physical activity and CBD oil in our recent blog post HERE.

7. Try Shah Saffron CBD oil

CBD may have a calming effect on the nervous system and provide an overall positive improvement of social anxiety symptoms. CBD oil is rich in chemicals called cannabinoids that bind to specialized receptors in the brain. It is likely that that’s why many people, including Shah’s founder Tony Moayyer swear by the effectiveness of CBD.

A small 2010 study found that cannabidiol could reduce symptoms of social anxiety in people with social anxiety disorder (SAD). Brain scans of participants revealed changes in blood flow to the regions of the brain linked to feelings of anxiety.

According to an article by Medical News Today

When it comes to the holiday season, preparation is everything. To have a few simple tools in your belt can make the difference between feeling calm and at ease at the next holiday party or awkward and aggravated. 

And if your tools take no more than 20 minutes to apply, perhaps they’ll make the holidays more enjoyable for years to come. How do the holidays affect you? Take our survey and let us know.

To your health! Happy Holidays from all of us at Shah.