How To Survive The Thanksgiving Holiday If You Have Anxiety

Your brother, your racist cousin, and the family friend who acts like your “uncle” who gives you the heebie jeebies are all there. It’s your family’s Thanksgiving dinner and you’re anxious AF.


I’ve so been there. Holiday gatherings can be a breeding ground for anxiety. Sometimes it feels like we don’t have a choice whether or not to attend and anxiety is determined to win. But, that doesn’t have to be the case if you have these tips in your purse (and maybe put your CBD oil bottle in there, too, you know what I mean?).


Prepare for the event

  • Spend some time alone before the big event so you don’t diffuse your energy before you’re going to be around a lot of people. This is your time just for yourself.

  • Practice something that calms you like meditation or yoga or reciting affirmations. It’s important for you to get in the right frame of mind and energy space before you enter a room with so many other energies floating around. Doing something that makes you feel grounded can help keep you in a high vibe even when you get to dinner.

  • Have a few go-to talking points. Here’s one I’ve practiced for ages. This may feel like giving into the anxiety, but sometimes this is the only thing that helps us. For me, my anxiety likes to practice conversations over and over in my head, imagining what others will say and what I’ll respond. It’s exhausting! Instead of doing that, I pick 3 neutral topics that are going on in my life right now that I know I can talk about if the conversation turns to me. It helps relieve the pressure of not knowing what to say.


Create space for yourself after the event

  • Allow yourself time to decompress. Don’t plan anything big for the rest of the day. Plan to come back to a quiet home or place of retreat where not much is expected of you.

  • Do something for yourself like taking a bath with a nice bath bomb and candles or reading your favorite book or cooking a meal for yourself. Do something that makes YOU feel good. Something that you WANT to do. It’s your little reward for going to the dinner and shooting down your fear.

  • Spend time alone shedding energy from the day. Yep, I’m telling you to spend time alone again. You’ve now gathered all of those energies from the dinner, and it’s time to let them go. Burn some sage or use a selenite crystal wand to cleanse yourself if you’re a hippie like me, or just give yourself alone time to breath.


Have a go-to comfort person

  • Find someone you’re comfortable with, and let them know you’re a little nervous up front. Sometimes just saying what you’re feeling out loud can help.

  • Sit next to that person at dinner. Make them your safe zone, and know that they’re there to support you.

  • Let them fill in the conversational gaps for you. It can be hard to make conversation when you’re feeling anxious, so allow this person to jump in when you need backup.


Remove yourself momentarily from the situation

  • Sometimes you just need to get away from what’s making you anxious, and that’s more than okay. Retreat to the bathroom or a private bedroom for a few minutes if you need to

  • Do some breathing exercises to calm yourself down physically. Then calm down your mind by reassuring yourself that you’re actually safe and you will be okay.

  • Remind yourself that you were invited because people who care about you want you there. This is where you shut down those nasty fear demons that are telling you no one likes you. It’s just not true!


I hope these tips help today or the next time you find yourself at a social gathering, whether it’s a holiday or not.


Which suggestion resonated with you the most? What do YOU do when you’re in an uncomfortable social setting?


Who's you're go-to person? If you don't have one, don't worry! I want you to join MY internet tribe over on Facebook. We're here to support you and be your cheerleader. 


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