Family-Related Anxiety

Family-Related Anxiety

Just because members of your family are related to you does not mean that everyone gets along all the time or that you do not have your complaints about them. You will surely see many of those stress-inducing family members if you or someone else is holding a New Year’s Eve party. It is important to understand what those anxiety symptoms are when those relatives bring them out of you and what to do to enjoy your holiday with them.

Family members can put us under a lot of stress when all of them are together. Maybe there is that one relative that you get into squabbles with whether it is of politics or criticizing your life choices. There could be that other relative that tells bad jokes that makes you cringe. Maybe you are just stressed because you know there are two relatives that will be there that tend to get into conflict with each other and you do not want to be involved. It is normal not to get along with everyone in your family. It is important to be aware of symptoms of anxiety so that you know what to do when they occur. One symptom may be that you feel a headache coming on or muscle tension. This means that your anxiety is building up.

Another symptom of anxiety is getting hot or cold flashes. This occurs when blood vessels and your gastrointestinal tract is constricted as well as dilation in the blood vessels in your skeletal muscles. This could come as a result of hearing a serious or judgmental tone coming out of someone or that certain look they give you. You may also feel like you are getting a stomach ache as the nerves that regulate digestion may be hypersensitive to acute or chronic stress. Another symptom may be that you are not getting enough sleep or just not sleeping well at the thought of having to see these relatives that may ruin your holiday for you. Not being able to focus is another symptom to watch out for as you already have a image in your head of what your New Year Eve will look like when you are around these stress-inducing people. These thoughts, worries, and fears go beyond your control that you cannot think of anything else.

If you have children of your own, it is important to fix your coping strategies so that they can learn from them. If you have dealt with your stress before by drinking, smoking, doing drugs, purging, or any other unhealthy habits where you hurt yourself in the process, your children will pick up on that. They will think that this is what you should be doing to cope whenever you see relatives. Unhealthy habits will also make your anxiety symptoms grow even worse which will not help anything. Teach them more healthy habits such as deep breathing, yoga, writing things down, going for a walk, listening to soothing music, or seeing a professional if you feel you cannot handle these symptoms.

Instead of holding all of your feelings in, find a relative that will be coming to this party that you can trust. Tell him or her that you are worried about seeing this particular person and that you can use all of the support you can get. If you say all of your feelings out loud to this person, you may realize that everything you are feeling about this person is nothing to worry about. While your anxiety symptoms are not an exaggeration, what you think the evening will turn out to be may not even occur.

Most importantly, you need to take care of yourself. You should have a lot of energy during the new year and you will not be able to join in on the fun if you are worn out. You may be worried about having relatives over because you feel the need to impress them. If you are running around buying presents, making dinner, thinking of ways to entertain your guests and more, you will overwhelm yourself. Your mental health will always be more important than anything. Make sure you are sleeping well, eating all of the right nutrients, and exercising.

Do not let anyone stressful get to you and ruin your New Year’s Eve fun. If any relatives are trying to pick a fight with you, excuse yourself and step outside to do some deep breathing. If any relatives are poking fun at you, just tell them a joke of your own to avoid letting it get to you. This will show them that you can laugh at yourself and that they are not bothering you. You can also tell any stress-inducing relatives that you would prefer to talk to them at another time if you know that they are about to debate you or ask you any pestering questions. If you have relatives that really get under your skin, try to spend less time with them by saying hi to them and asking how they are doing. Then, spend time with the relatives that make you more relaxed and happy. New Year’s Eve is a time to enjoy yourself and let all of your worries escape you. By watching out for your anxiety symptoms and coming up with a plan on what to do when symptoms appear, you are guaranteed to have a happy new year.

Located in Tacoma, Washington, Bayview Center’s mission is to offer clinically-driven programs and services to treat a number of substance abuse disorders along with anxiety and depression using cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, trauma therapy, yoga therapy, and more for a successful recovery. For more information, please call us 1-888-570-7154 at as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.