Well, the weather is finally getting warmer. And you know what that means… the social calendar starts to fill up. Well, for some people. But what about those who might find it a little more difficult to fill up that calendar? Maybe you don’t have as many friends as you would like. Or maybe the anxiety and panic attacks are too high to even leave your house. In any situation, here are a few suggestions I have about making the most out of this warm weather.
1. Stop Putting Pressure on Yourself
Between the commercials and social media there is so much pressure to fill up the calendar. There’s this unwritten rule that if everyone else is having fun, so should I. We tend to fall into this All or Nothing thinking pattern. Either your life is perfectly how you want it or you failed. The truth is, this is your life. Make it how you want it. Don’t let others influence what you do.
2. How to Help the Anxiety of It All
Do you ever feel like just staying home? You make the plans but it takes everything out of you just to go. Or maybe you find an excuse to stay home. When we avoid, it just makes anxiety worse. It tells our brain that the situation is bad and you should stay home. Then it’s much harder the next time a similar situation comes up. Don’t avoid. Maybe plan on going to one event. Or put on your calendar that you are going to go somewhere public alone.
3. It’s the Small Steps
In the anxiety world, we don’t throw people into 10 feet of water and tell them to swim. It is better to complete things in baby steps. So let’s say for example, you have anxiety about going to a backyard bbq with some friends. To prepare, take it in steps. First, go out to a public place, like Starbucks, alone. Then up the ante. Invite one friend or family member to go to that same place with you. Then pick a different place and do the same thing. Eventually work your way up to being able to go to any public place with a group of people. This whole process teaches your brain that these places and people are not bad or unsafe.
My Take Away…
Stop putting the pressure on yourself to fill up that calendar. This is your life, not the life of friends and family members on your social media. Help your anxiety by taking small steps, working towards your goal. And if all else fails, take a break from social media.
This is Breeze Counseling's blogspot were you can find useful tips and self-help information. Please feel free to leave your comments.