Holidays are typically known as being merry and bright, but that is not always the case. Holidays can and do evoke immense amounts of stress and anxiety. These big highs and crushing lows that are inherent in holidays don’t just appear in adults but also in teens. Because teens experience emotions more intensely, the sheer amounts of anxiety during holidays can be downright destabilizing for them. Unfortunately, social anxiety can make teens uncomfortable in social situations. However, through an adolescent treatment program such as Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center, your teen can gain control and manage these feelings. To learn more about the benefits of these programs, contact our team today at 662.373.2828.
How Can Holidays Impact a Teen’s Social Anxiety?
Holidays bring along seasonal stressors that can cause or aggravate your teen’s social anxiety. Some of these stressors may include:
Due to a decrease in sunlight during winter, teens may develop anxiety and depression that may take a toll on all aspects of their lives ranging from relationships, social interaction, and self-worth.
Changes in Schedules and Routines
Changes in routines can be fun but can leave teens out of sorts and tired. These sudden changes to their routines, coupled with a plethora of social events, can feel overwhelming.
There are likely to be deviation and relaxation from your teen’s regular diet and sleep routines during holidays. Furthermore, holidays come with access to unhealthy foods, and if there is no moderation, these foods can impact blood sugar and mood.
While it is normal for adults to stress over finances, it may be surprising to find out that teens can stress over the same issues. Teens can pick up on their parents’ financial worries, react to them, and stress over them.
Holidays Are a Time for Self-Reflection
Like adults, teens are conscious of the cultural pressure around them to take stock of their life. They have had instances of losses and pain throughout their life, and during a time like this of self-reflection, they may focus more on these experiences. Such times may force them to face some of the big questions about their identity and meaning of life. As a result, they may choose to confront problems that they had swept under the carpet throughout the year.
How Can You Help Reduce Your Teen’s Social Anxiety During the Holidays?
Set a calm example. As noted above, teens pick up their parents’ life stress cues and become stressed themselves. To help the teens deal with anxiety during holidays, parents should keep things as relaxed as possible by handling their stress and anxiety.
Keep a consistent sleep and diet routine. A sleep-deprived brain will be an anxious brain. While a one late night may seem innocuous, it can be a problem for a teen struggling with anxiety. This necessitates the need to have a consistent sleep schedule, and if for some reason late night is unavoidable, create ample time for rest the following day. Additionally, proper nutrition plays a critical role in managing anxiety. Help your teen moderate their consumption of sweets and extra desserts during the holiday.
In addition, you can be aware of your teen’s social triggers. Observe and take note of your teen’s behavioral patterns during holidays. If your teen feels anxious in certain events, assure them of your full support. Let them know that it is okay whenever they feel like leaving or going to a quiet place.
Finally, encourage your teen to enjoy the moments. Most of these frenetic activities become the highlights of the holidays. Instead of stressing over the events, help your teen to be present, and focus on creating memories.
Find Help at Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center is a dual diagnosis treatment program that addresses a variety of needs of adolescents. Some of our treatments in the program include:
- Residential treatment center
- Fully supervised detox services
- Substance use treatment programs
- Transition, aftercare, and other extended stay options
- Therapy programs