Dealing with anxiety during the holidays

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Many people look forward to celebrating the holidays with family and friends, but for some, those festivities can make them feel anxious.

Dawn Potter, a psychologist with Cleveland Clinic, says someone who deals with perfectionism may become anxious if they want everything at their party to be just right.

A people-pleaser may be worried about two relatives getting along or inappropriate comments at dinner.

There are ways to cope in these situations. Remind yourself that there is only so much in your control and ask for help if you’re hosting. It’s also advised to not drink alcohol just to “calm your nerves.”

“It may make you feel better in the moment. However, when you are anxious, you are at a risk of drinking too much,” said Potter and then you may do things that you wouldn’t normally say or do because you’ll be disinhibited – and then you will have more things to fuel your anxiety because you will be worried and saying, ‘Oh, my gosh. Did I embarrass myself at that party yesterday?'”

If you opt to not attend an event, you don’t owe anyone a detailed explanation about why you’re not going.

You can simply offer an apology and say you have to do what’s best for you.