The Holiday season can be a source of joy for most of us. For others, it can be a source of anxiety. If you already have a Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety, the Holiday season can cause a great deal of distress. Shopping, wrapping, cooking, decorating, cleaning, and being around extended family can cause Anxiety in any individual even if they do not have an anxiety disorder. Women tend to be more prone to panic attacks and heightened anxiety than men according to the latest research (Harvard Medical School 2016) by almost a 40% increase. Some helpful hints to make it less stressful…PLAN- try to buy as many presents as soon as possible, start by writing a list and pick up a few things each week starting in July or August. When you get the gift, wrap it and tag it right when you get home as this is a big time saver for later. If you do Christmas cards, buy them early and have the envelopes done by October (again, spread this project out). Decorating- We are not all Martha Stewart, so why try to be. If you can just get a tree up and decorated, that’s still a success. If you decorate a lot more than that, enlist a couple of friends to come over on a Saturday afternoon for a pizza party and have them help perhaps in early November. FORGET Black Friday.. it causes me to panic even thinking about crowds and pushing, and waiting in lines. Shop online and get some of the best deals out there without leaving the house. Cleaning for company coming- if you cannot afford a one time housekeeper to come in, just do 1 room per day for a week spending no more than 45 minutes to an hour. Set a timer. When the timer goes off, stop.

Be sure to take care of yourself during November and December. Get as much sleep as possible, wash your hands frequently, get yourself a massage if time and money permit. Get your annual flu shot early.

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