Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s topic.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and knowing that there will be plentiful amounts of food isn’t helping my anxiety. I tend to overeat when I get anxious, so you can see the problem I’m having. I try my best to keep a level head during this season, but it seems to get harder each year. I’m considering skipping Thanksgiving with my family this year, but at the same time, I want to try and figure out how to not let my anxiety get the better of me so I can go and enjoy the feast and festivities with everyone. How can I prepare myself for it?
Thanksgiving is a beautiful and joyous time of year – for some Click To TweetThanksgiving is a beautiful and joyous time of year – for some. For others, however, it’s a time that can trigger anxiety, depression and an overwhelming sense of dread. These feelings can be triggered by a variety of factors and we recommend addressing them instead of letting them ruin or interfere with the holiday. Our licensed mental health counselors and psychologists in Tampa want to provide some valuable information on the topic.
As we mentioned before, the anxiety, depression and other negative emotions that you feel around Thanksgiving can be set in motion by a range of different circumstances, thoughts, relationships and even foods.
Some may come from strained family relationships. Individuals who struggle with eating disorders or are currently trying to lose weight by managing their diet might get overwhelmed knowing that the Thanksgiving table will be full of indulgent food.
If relationships are currently conflicted over life choices, politics or past disappointments, the mere thought of mingling with those family members can be very anxiety provoking. And yet, others may become stressed and anxious simply as a result of the pressures and demands of the holiday season.
We’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to Thanksgiving’s psychological issues, but it’s important to understand that social, emotional and relationship difficulties may be at the root of your overeating, under-eating, over-exercising, etc. So, while this may be a difficult time for you or a loved one, it is also one you can prepare for and deal with effectively.
Plan Ahead – Chances are this isn’t the first Thanksgiving where you will deal with anxiety. Click To TweetThe following steps can help you make it through your food-related Thanksgiving woes:
- Plan Ahead – Chances are this isn’t the first Thanksgiving where you will deal with anxiety. You probably already have an idea of what to do and what to avoid to keep your feelings in check. Perhaps you need to pack your own meal for the get-together (as long as you check it out with your host or hostess so that nobody is offended and understands why you are doing so) or completely avoid a specific food that triggers your anxiety. Some folks eat a little something before they go so that they are not ravenous when the big meal is set out and can make informed and reasonable choices. Whatever the case, thinking about it beforehand and making a plan can help you feel calmer and more prepared.
- Leave the Kitchen – If food causes your anxiety, then it might be beneficial to stay out of the kitchen for a while. Watch a movie with your aunts and uncles or play a bit of football with the kids!
- Take a Break – Although it may be difficult to accept, sometimes you just have to take a break from a holiday altogether. Skipping Thanksgiving will upset some family members, but your mental health is a priority, even if you have to take a break this year.
Take a Break – Although it may be difficult to accept, sometimes you just have to take a break from a holiday altogether. Click To Tweet
Let’s Figure it Out Together
Sometimes it’s hard to understand what our feelings are, where they come from and how to deal with them. If you ever find yourself in this position, know that Rice Psychology Group in Tampa can help. Our approach is as personal as it is professional to ensure that you feel at ease with discussing what you’re feeling. Have questions? Don’t hesitate to contact our team today.