Helping you get through tough times

‘Tis the season

Are you feeling jolly? We’re right in the swing of Christmas again – parties, meals, catching up with every person you ever met, before the clock strikes twelve on Christmas eve.

Party popper, streamer and small bottle of champagneBut, what if you don’t enjoy all this socialising? What if party and dinner invites fill you with dread?

The nightmare before Christmas

Being shy or suffering from social anxiety can certainly take away from fun of the festivities. While it can affect the best of us from time-to-time, for some it’s a constant worry.

There’s no real quick fix to such shyness, but there are things that can help. In the longer term, working on building self-esteem and constantly working on minding your mental health can be hugely beneficial.

Rockin’ around the Christmas tree

Besides, swigging eggnog and jigging around the Christmas tree with people you only half know just might not be your thing. That’s OK too. Everyone’s idea of fun is different.

When you think of it, good self-esteem helps you decide your level of sociability and what you want.

Sometimes though, it’s next to impossible to avoid social gatherings, especially if family are involved. In these instances it can be worthwhile having a bit of a coping strategy ready.

Mince pie anyone?

Things to try:

  • smile – often people aren’t unfriendly, they’re simply unsure of themselves. Being the first to smile, or offer the mince pies around can go a long way to making everyone feel at ease.
  • practice – like everything, practising social skills can make you better at them. Try smiling and saying hello. Try making eye contact as you chat with people you know.
  • prepare your chat – thinking about things you might talk about can help to take away the pressure, and stop you feeling so on-the-spot.

Silent night

While it often feels easier to stay silent, in the long run talking about something is more helpful.

Whether it’s a friend or family member you feel you can open up to, or you seek face-to-face help with a professional, taking that first step to open up could be worthwhile.

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