As a whole, our mental health in America is suffering. Empower Counseling understands that we are such social creatures by nature, we crave interaction with others on a deep level. If we don’t have it, anxiety tends to increase. If you happen to be in high school or college, this has been a particularly rough year. Nothing about your experience this year has looked normal. However, you made it! Pat yourself on your back. Know that you do not have to struggle alone though. Empower Counseling offers Acceptance Commitment anxiety therapy, proven effective by extensive research.

We often get caught in all or nothing thinking that can lead to thinking we do not haver options. 

You can sit in the thoughts of what the holidays can not be for you this year, which increases anxiety, or you can turn your attention and focus to what they can be.

Anxiety tip #1 from Anxiety Therapy at Empower Counseling: Start by reframing how you think about the holidays this year.

Start with what you value. Decide what you want to remember about your holiday season this year. What is most important to you? Who do you want to be for those you love?

These questions guide you like a compass and lead you to what you want to think about and what you want to take action on. If you focus on letting your values be your guide this holiday season, you will be happy and satisfied with the results and your anxiety levels will decrease.

Anxiety tip #2: Find new ways to connect with others. 

OK, so none of us can connect in the exact same ways we usually do over the holidays. We can think in all or nothing terms, and say if we cannot connect like we normally do then we will just not connect at all. This type of thinking is not helpful to our overall mental health and anxiety level. The lack of control you will feel will increase your anxiety. Instead, get creative. Think outside of the box. What ways can you connect that you have not thought of before now? Are there ways to be outside and distance from those you love?

Anxiety tip #3: Connect with nature. 

Nature helps us see the beauty in the world when we are under stress. When outside, it is easier to focus on something larger than ourselves and get out of our heads, and our anxiety, and into our bodies. If you live in the city and can not make it out to the country, walk around your neighborhood. Notice details you have not taken the time to notice before. You might meet neighbors, from a distance, you have not met before. Getting out of your head and into your body brings you back to the present moment, and out of anxiety about past mistakes or an uncertain future.

Anxiety tip #4: Let go of perfect. 

Often times we have these pictures in our heads of these perfect family holidays. Did these ever really happen in the best of years? No holiday is ever perfect. No family is perfect. Don’t try to make this year’s holiday perfect. The more perfect you want it to be, the more anxiety you will feel. Works on your own flexibility and expectations. Focus only on the most important aspects of the holiday for you. Let go of the details that in the end do not matter. You may find that when you let go of expectation of perfect results, you wind up having the best holidays season you have ever had. 

Anxiety tip #5: Focus on giving gifts from the heart. 

You might be struggling with finances this year because of Covid. You don’t need to make your situation worse by going into credit card buying gifts for everyone. Being overextended financially will definitely raise your anxiety level. Those you love and who love you are would not want this for you. 

Instead think about something you can make or do for those you love. What is important to your favorite cousin? How does she show she cares? Let these questions point you to something you can do, rather than something you can buy for her. Maybe you write a hand written letter reminding her of a special past memory the two of you have together that will make her smile, and your anxiety lessen.

The main action we can take to lower our anxiety levels and enjoy the holidays this year is getting out of our heads and into our lives. Anxiety tries to keep us stuck in our heads constantly solving problems, even when there are none. If you are stuck, overwhelmed, and can not seem to get out of your head and enjoy your life, Empower Counseling in Birmingham, Alabama provides proven anxiety counseling. Anxiety therapy with Empower Counseling in Birmingham is here for you.

Although Empower Counseling offers proven effective anxiety treatment from an anxiety specialist in Birmingham, Alabama, Empower also offers other services at our Birmingham, Alabama Clinic. If you aren’t enjoying life the way you used to or you lack hope about your future, depression therapy at Empower Counseling is for you.

I specialize in providing support and guidance through teen therapy and counseling for college students. My counseling for professionals and life coaching will help you reignite your excitement in life. I also offer therapy to help you navigate difficult life transitions like going through a divorce, starting a new career, or downsizing. You might consider technology addiction therapy. If Let’s get started so you can begin enjoying a better, more balanced life. I am here to help you.

If you like podcasts, here are a few episodes you might enjoy:

https://imperfectthriving.com/imperfect-thriving-podcast-with-kathryn-ely/
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