Surviving Thanksgiving: Strategies for Overcoming Social Anxiety

Adaptive & Problematic Behavior, Applied Behavior Analysis, Bipolar & Mood Disorders, Couples, Families With a Disability, Parenting, PTSD & Trauma, Trauma & Child Abuse

Most people tend to feel a little bit stressed out around Thanksgiving. There’s a lot of work that goes into planning Thanksgiving dinner, preparing your home for guests, and finding time to do all of the shopping and cooking.

However, for those with social anxiety, the stress that comes during Thanksgiving can be overwhelming. So much that, at times, it may seem impossible to handle. Having to make small talk with strangers or distant relatives and dealing with feelings of judgment and insecurity can cause individuals with social anxiety to feel extremely overwhelmed and nervous.

If you feel that your life is being negatively impacted by social anxiety, you may want to seek the help of a mental health professional. At Emerge in Denver, we offer anxiety treatment and therapy as well as a variety of mental health services. Once you discuss your situation with your therapist, whether it’s a clinician at our office or elsewhere, you may find that you feel much better about the upcoming holiday.

Ways to Cope with Social Anxiety on Thanksgiving

If you’re looking for ways to cope with social anxiety disorder on Thanksgiving, you may want to try some of the following strategies:

  • Prepare in advance – Whether you’re hosting the dinner yourself or attending a Thanksgiving gathering at a friend or family member’s house, you may find it useful to prepare in advance. Try doing yoga or breathing exercises in the morning. If you’re hosting, try making Thanksgiving dishes a couple days beforehand to eliminate feelings of panic and frustration.
  • Arrive early – For people with social anxiety, walking into a room filled with a large number of people can invoke feelings of unease and distress. Try arriving early to a gathering to get your groundings beforehand. This way, you can greet guests as they arrive or busy yourself by helping the host prepare food or set the table.
  • Seek support – Having a friend or someone to confide in can help you feel at ease in awkward social settings. Consider bringing a friend to a gathering hosted at someone else’s house. Or, if you’re feeling particularly upset, try sharing your feelings with your spouse or another family member. Remember, your friends and family love you and are happy to support you in times of need.

In addition to the above, journaling and physical exercise can also help alleviate feelings of stress and nervousness that come from social anxiety. However, if you are feeling too overwhelmed by negative emotions, you should probably consider seeking help from a professional. A professional will help you find the best strategies and methods for coping with your situation and find relief from social anxiety.

Anxiety Treatment with Emerge

If you are interested in therapy or treatment for anxiety, our Denver-based health clinic would like to hear from you. Call our office today to get more information on our services or schedule an appointment.