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Parent Resources

The holiday season is here and for some children, this time of year can feel overwhelming. The holidays are supposed to be a relaxing time away from the stress of school, but children with anxiety may feel nervous and unsure about upcoming activities. 

Anxiety may affect their ability to enjoy all activities. The pressure of traveling, socializing with family members, and change in routine can be triggering and cause irritability, fatigue, somatic complaints, and meltdowns. In the aftermath of the pandemic, we’ve seen an increase in the number of children struggling with anxiety surrounding sickness. Covid-19 and the flu can be scary for children, and they may worry about getting sick and missing family gatherings and other events.

Types Of Anxiety Disorders  

Holiday anxiety can be brought on by an already existing mental health disorder that may be amplified during the holiday season. Being around new people, behavioral expectations, and routine changes may trigger your child's anxiety. 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is severe ongoing anxiety that interferes with daily activities. Some symptoms of generalized anxiety are overthinking plans, difficulty handling uncertainty, and worst-case-scenario perceptions of situations. 

Separation Anxiety Disorder 
Separation Anxiety Disorder is when a child becomes excessively anxious when they are not with their parents. Separation anxiety typically occurs during the infant and toddler stages but can evolve into a more serious disorder including panic attacks that may interfere with daily life.

Social Anxiety Disorder 
Social Anxiety Disorder can cause a child to have irrational anxiety, fear, self-consciousness, and embarrassment brought on by everyday social interactions. Symptoms can include intense fear or anxiety of social events, rapid heart rate, muscle tension, etc. 

Signs Of Holiday Anxiety 

  • Increased Attachment 
  • Homesickness 
  • High Irritability and increase in tantrums 
  • Worrying about sickness
  • Excessive worry 
  • Social Withdrawal 
  • Change in Appetite 
  • Sleep Disturbances 

Tips For Holiday Anxiety 

There are quite a few ways to help avoid the overwhelming feeling of holiday anxiety. Keeping your child as close as possible to their daily routine can help create a sense of normalcy. Manage their sugar intake and allow time for outside play. Try to be a calm example for your child. 

  • Manage Sugar Intake 
  • Don’t Overschedule 
  • Outside Play and Fresh Air 
  • Stick To Your Routine 
  • Quiet Time 
  • Be a Calm Example 
  • Set Boundaries  
  • Seek Professional Help 
  • Acknowledge Your Feelings

If you notice signs of anxiety in your family during the holiday season, contact us to Get Started with one of our experienced therapists.