Photographer & Mental Health Advocate

Anxiety Awareness

Holiday Anxiety

Before I start talking about holiday anxiety and what it means, I wanted to wish you all a very merry late Christmas! I hope you all received everything you wanted and got to spend it with the ones you love. 

During the holiday season, time itself seems to speed up and slow down. It's a strange time because you want to be excited but you also are extremely stressed. It's the same thing for someone who sufferers from anxiety except that it's more tense and overwhelming. I can only speak for myself but I get pretty anxious during the holiday season and at first I thought it could have been S.A.D (Seasonal affective disorder) but realized I connected more to  holiday anxiety disorder. For me it's not really stressful being around large groups of people talking, but more about the memories and the special day going too quickly.

It is so hard to explain but I get anxious because I don't want the day to end. During this time, people become more thoughtful and kind and even though it gets colder and darker, people's kindness starts to glow. And that's what I love seeing during this time, the people who start feeling with their hearts and not thinking with their minds. I love listening to the radio station play Christmas music 24/7 because I get to sing music that is positive and filled with loving lyrics. I love seeing the lights on homes light up like stars in the night because I know a family worked together to get those lights up on the house. Christmas trees peaking through the windows, filled with ornaments from Christmas's past, each filled with a memory that the family can look back on. Taking photos with family and friends, especially those people you rarely get to see but come back for the holidays. These are the reasons why I never want the holidays to end, not because I'm afraid to talk or stressed out trying to figure what gifts to get people but because every moment spent this holiday season means so much to me.

The way that my mind works, I'm already thinking about how this moment is gone and will never come back, so it makes me want to cherish each second but it comes with sadness and anxiousness. I do try to not let it get to me during the holidays because I'd be moping around missing all the moments but when the holidays are over, I do get a bit sad; and that's okay because I think everyone is a bit sad when they are happy. And I say that because you have to wonder why people cry at weddings, when babies are born and when great things happen, yes they are happy but subconsciously it's also a sad moment. I found a video that I keep going to every time I think I'm a bit weird for feeling the way that I do because it reminds me that my mind just thinks a bit differently and its a good different because I cherish things more than other people do.  It's called Existential Bummer and it's narrated by the amazing Jason Silva from "Brain Games."

In the end, I do whatever I can to make sure that I don't allow my anxiety to overcome me and keep me from enjoy the holidays with my loved ones. If anything, I fight my holiday anxiety because of my family and friends. I want them to know I am there with them in the moment and when I do that, I get to cherish the days with them. I also do my best to take photos of everything that is happening so that if my holiday anxiety comes back and I start feeling anxious or sad, I can look back to the photos and remember the great feeling I had then. It's not easy to live with this but you learn how to cope and you do whatever you can to make sure you are in control. So to my readers who do sufferer from an anxiety disorder, remember it is okay to feel the way you do, your mind is a wonderfully powerful tool and you feel the world so much more and thats okay because it's a blessing in disguise. Wishing you all a very merry holiday season with love and light, until then,

xoxo, Jacklyn.