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All I Want for Christmas Is…a Lot Less Anxiety

Holiday Anxiety is a shinier, fancier, more horrible version of Everyday Anxiety—less sleep, more worry, never-ending questioning, followed by a funk I can't put into words. If you love someone who battles this holiday monster, take a breath and love her even harder.

3 Comments: All I Want for Christmas Is…a Lot Less Anxiety

  1. I’m so looking forward to December 28th.
    I grew to hate Christmas between eight and twelve. I was growing up and not into toys as much as worrying about the gifts I gave. I was so scared what I gave was not going to make them happy. They wouldn’t like my gift. They would be disappointed, put my gift down and admire the gifts from people who knew exactly what to give. I never knew it was ADHD until I was 58.
    This year my calendar is stripped down with Christmas activities but I feel just as anxious. Still overwhelmed. Dread. I don’t know what to buy my husband. I’ll end up buying too many things trying to get at least one he may enjoy. My mom will quietly put her presents away never to be used. She will try not to hurt my feelings. I procrastinated with most gifts because I am still overwhelmed. I so want to make everyone happy. Such a burden. Most of this I know is in my head because no one in my family is materialistic and just enjoy the family gathering.
    I need to take a dish to my sisters for Christmas dinner. What to make? It won’t turn out right. No one will eat it. I won’t make anyone happy with my ruined casserole either. I always put on my fake happy face starting Christmas Eve. I don’t want to spoil everyone else’s Christmas. It’s incredibly exhausting, that smile. I’ll be overly bubbly and increase my exhaustion. The day after I’m still worrying my son doesn’t like that shirt, phone case or anything. I’m worn out.
    Around December 28th I will take a deep breath, shrug off my blanket of dread and anxiety, give thanks that it’s over and put on Christmas music. I can now enjoy the music. Happy, fun joyful music. Just sing along joyfully while admiring my beautiful decorations.

  2. As I read the article….first of all nodding my head in agreement, I wonder if it’s related to our ego and thinking that we have to do everything perfectly or else we will be negatively judged or we are trying to avoid guilt. If you think about it, we don’t have the kind of power that we think we do. Actually, what can ruin Christmas for someone is being neurotic to the point of taking the joy out of the holiday which is suppose to be about family and friends. This year, I am oddly calm and keeping it simple. My family adopted a puppy (which certainly keep things real with lack of sleep) but that is our Christmas gift to each. Extended family is getting cookies. If anyone thinks, “well, that’s lame”….I don’t think I’m the one with the problem. For my fellow ADD’ers, let yourself off the hook and please join me in not making ourselves neurotic trying to please everyone else because we are trying to avoid feel guilt or thinking we have the power to make the holidays “magic” for someone else (including our kids). All I remember is my mother (who has ADD) making herself neurotic and exhausted. I choose to do things differently.

  3. Thank you for your article. It’s such a relief to hear that I am not alone in my constant worries and anxieties.

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