Eight Ways to Lower Party Anxiety During Summer Celebrations
It’s the time of year for summer celebrations, and to fully enjoy them, we’d love to lower the party anxiety that frequently accompanies the fun. For a multitude of reasons, parties, gatherings, and celebrations can heighten anxiety. Whether it’s the dread that comes with the idea of having to come up with the right things to say, the fear of being judged, the forced interaction with strangers or acquaintances and family that you’re in conflict with, or more, summer celebrations can lead to intense party anxiety. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend the season in misery. Below are eight ways to lower party anxiety during summer celebrations.
Celebrating the things in our lives, big and small, is one of the things that enhances wellbeing. However, celebrations can also increase anxiety. This party anxiety is real, and it can seriously limit or ruin our fun during summer celebrations.
Summer Celebrations Can Lead to Anxiety, but We Can Lower This Party Anxiety
Celebration typically means stepping out of ordinary routine, even if for just a short while. Summer abounds with celebrations of achievements, birthdays, weddings, reunions, and holidays, religious and secular. Celebration re-energizes us. It renews our enthusiasm. It strengthens the connections we have with each other. It infuses us with both fun and relaxation.
As emotionally healthy as they can be, celebrations can overwhelm and overstimulate us. Stepping away from ordinary routine, while important for wellbeing and a sense of gratitude, can be stressful and exhausting. Further, summer celebrations often come with noise, bright lights, more people, and, thus, more (and louder) conversations, hard-to-resist unhealthy foods, and a sense of always being “on.” All of this can contribute to party anxiety and lead to irritability, exhaustion, increased worry, bothersome physical symptoms, and exaggerated emotional lows and highs.
Eight Ways to Lower Party Anxiety During Summer Celebrations
Summer, with its many celebrations, can truly be enjoyable. It would be a shame to avoid celebrations, for they really are good for us in many ways. Thankfully, you can have your celebratory cake and stay well, too. There are ways to manage that stressed and overwhelmed, overstimulated feeling and reduce anxiety right in the midst of a celebration or afterward:
- Know yourself. What bothers you the most? Noise? Crowds? Smells? Sugar? A specific person? Different things bother different people. When you can identify what is the most irksome for you, you can be on alert for when you are starting to feel the effects.
- Be attuned to yourself. Can you feel a headache coming on? Are you beginning to feel anxious and jittery? Becoming impatient? To thine own self be true. When you notice your sense of wellbeing start to decrease, pick up the signals your body is sending and attend to them.
- Do what makes you feel better. If things are getting too intense, step away. Step out for fresh air, slip into a quiet room, or otherwise put some space between yourself and your surroundings.
- Carry a music player with earbuds. When you step out for a break, you can play some relaxing sounds or music that makes you feel good. That is often enough to reset so you can enjoy yourself again.
- Breathe. You don’t even have to go anywhere for this one. Wherever you are, and often, take a series of slow, deep breaths. This is soothing to mind and body.
- Drink water. Our bodies crave water. Sodas and other beverages don’t fully hydrate, so they leave us feeling sluggish. Drinking water helps us stay physically and emotionally well.
- Eat well. Many of us associate celebrating with junk food. An afternoon, an evening, an entire day of grazing on sweets, chips, etc. takes its toll. Sure, indulge in some things, and enjoy them, but also include the healthier offerings that are likely available. Your taste buds might be disappointed, but they’ll get over it. And while they’re getting over it, you’ll feel better.
- Focus on the positive. Even during fun gatherings, irritating things, people, and discussions crop up. Also, you, yourself, might make a blunder and say or do the wrong thing. Rather than letting the very human irritations ruin your day, focus on all that is going right, all that you are doing well, rather than what isn't so perfect. A focus on the positive makes the not-so-positive much smaller and further reduces anxiety.
Taking little measures to maintain wellbeing during those intense summer celebrations goes a long way toward lowering party anxiety. When we practice self-care and tend to our anxiety, we can enjoy ourselves and embrace life no matter what we’re doing. It’s a cause for merriment in and of itself that we can, indeed, put these eight suggestions to use, lower party anxiety, and enjoy the celebrations that come with summer.
Peterson, T. (2015, June 18). Eight Ways to Lower Party Anxiety During Summer Celebrations, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, August 11 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2015/06/eight-ways-to-lower-party-anxiety-during-summer-celebrations
Author: Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
I agree with most of your suggestions. However, it doesn't really help me. My problem would be making myself go in the first place. Just thinking about it almost gives me a panic attack. Already encountered this issue once the month. Not going to the party out weights anything good that could come out of the "celebration".
You are right, of course. There are varying degrees of anxiety, and when anxiety (social or other anxiety) becomes very intense, it becomes more challenging to manage. That doesn't mean that it's impossible to treat and transcend, just that it takes more to do so. Starting small is often helpful. For example, many people find that it's easier to start to connect with one person and gradually increase social interactions. Working with a therapist can go a long way in decreasing intense social anxiety, too. Finding things that are helpful to you personally and that work for you is a key component to overcoming anxiety.
Our well being is key to enjoying life. Great article.
Thank you. And I wholeheartedly agree with you regarding the importance of wellbeing!