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Holiday anxiety
chatelaine posted:
I've lived with depression and anxiety off and on for a long time. It seems like the Holidays are always the worst. I've made progress with the depression end of it but the anxiety is very stubburn. Right now I've been so anxious for so long that my shoulder muscles actually have a burning sensation in them. I was laid off last week and it was probably a good thing. My job is very physical and my nervousness and anxiety were making it scary. When I'd exert myself I would actually get physically weak. Not faint just weak. I think my system just couldn't hand the exertion on top of the almost overwhelming tension I normally have. I feel like I'm going to break if I push myself anymore. I have a party tonight and I dread it. I have to pretend to be jolly etc when I feel like throwing up most of the time. I live on gasex and pepcid. I love to hear from others on how they handle this etc. I am sick of living like this and I can't afford therapy. It seems like the holidays are always a nightmare.
Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
Holidays, despite our wish to see them as totally enjoyable, are very stressful and they do make demands on us that we may not be able to meet. So, what can you do?

How about beginning to help yourself with some relaxation breathing? We have a video tutorial on it in our Tips column and you can use this whenever you want, wherever you happen to be. Start to learn it and begin doing it because it can provide a degree of relief that you never expected.

I can see that your job was not only physically, but mentally demanding because of the anxiety you were feeling. Emotionally draining work causes the muscles to tighten up, the body reacts as though it was being attacked and you begin to experience all the symptoms of anxiety or even physical illness.

Believe it or not, exercise is one thing that can help with all of this. Nothing strenuous, just simple walking in place, uses stairs as an easy method exercise and whatever physical activity you find you are capable of. Don't push yourself hard, just do a little each day, maybe 10 minutes is enough according to some experts in the field.

I hope you find this helpful and that things do improve for you very soon.

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