So you walk into your company holiday party- what’s the first thing you do?
For me, it’s jump in line for the food, because- duh:
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Once food has been acquired, I scan the room. Who am I looking for? Someone that I:
b. am legit friends with
c. is sitting at a not-so-full table
d. with hopes that no one else will come to sit because
e. they’re going to force me to talk and
f. I don’t really wanna talk to everyone. I wanna eat. And drink my beer. And talk to the person I know. And then go home.
I know I’m not alone. I had this conversation with a new friend at work who told me the party was like her social nightmare.
She was itching to leave the party as soon as possible so that she could go home to her family and be (and I quote) “my grumpy self.”
My anxiety does not give me the the social prowess to step into a party, work the room, and laugh and dance ’til the cows come home.
My anxiety allows me to draw quickly to the people that I know and who respect my need to not participate in small talk.
The holidays are tough, yo.
You’ve got places to be. People who want to see you. Holiday cheer to spread. Holly and jolly to do and such.
I’m going home to see my family and I’m happy! I love my family. But I’m also anxious as hell. The go, go, go, smile, smile, laugh, laugh, love, love, ALLOFTHETHINGS (while I do love it) can be very overwhelming to my anxious heart. Then I’ll come home from our “vacation” and wonder if it was a vacation at all because my emotions and my nerves are shot.
It’s tricky, loving something and really not loving it all at the same time. (You see how mental illness works?)
The business of being “on” all of the time is amplified during the holidays.
Nobody cares about your anxiety or depression or your desire to quite possibly curl up into a ball under a nice cozy blanket and stay there for a while.
This is my friendly reminder to you, my anxious friends, to take care of yourself this holiday season. I’m already making plans to run around my mother’s Long Island neighborhood in the cold to help me clear some of that anxiety. Making sure that I take care of me puts me in a space to truly enjoy my family this holiday season.
Don’t be afraid to retreat when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to say “this is too much for me right now.” There is an I in holiday. It’s okay to pull that card. Self-care is called SELF care for a reason.
Listen to Brené: