Are you excited to pack your bags and go on vacation? Are you looking forward to getting a gorgeous tan and enjoy chilling at the beach, but you feel conscious of people staring at you?
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Social anxiety is an absolute nightmare to deal with, even more so in the summer. The thought of people staring at you, greeting you, or even standing in a line to get ice cream can feel overwhelming. Your palms start sweating and your face starts turning red from panic.
Having social anxiety can take up so much of your time as it occupies your mind and impacts your happiness in all public situations. It can be a difficult journey to heal from, especially when going on a vacation where the excitement of the holiday can become drowned by the voices in your head.
Although it is easier said than done, taking baby steps towards recovery can help alleviate the symptoms and feelings which occur when you are dealing with social anxiety.
Here’s a breakdown of 8 ways to help you deal with social anxiety while on summer vacation.
Tip 1: Breathe deeply and focus on the moment, not the surroundings
I know this sounds insane, but it is actually a very crucial method to help alleviate the pressure and voices which you feel and constantly hear within your mind. The mind is very complex, so distracting yourself from the voices within by breathing in an articulate manner can help cool you down, which helps to calm the anxiety attacks you feel.
Tip 2: Keep a journal to help write down thoughts in the state of anxiety
Writing, in general, is very therapeutic, especially when you suffer from social anxiety. It is a way in which you can use to escape from reality, and helps to calm your inner self, especially when you dread interacting with people, or socializing in general.
Your journal is personal and you can pour your thoughts, your emotions and how you are feeling within the moment of anxiety onto paper. This also helps with self-reflection to help you on your journey of recovery.
I personally love journaling with a pre-made planner because having a color-coded planner with beautiful, positive quotes and vibes helps to uplift me when I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed.
One of my personal favorites is The Happiness Planner. It consists of positive quotes, and sections to help you map out your road to happiness. It also has sections to help you reflect on what makes you unhappy. These sections are extremely useful when you suffer from social anxiety because the reflection really helps you to pinpoint what triggers your anxiety, and how you can set goals to help recover from it. It also comes in a handy case which is ideal to pack in your bag and take with you on your vacay!
Tip 3: Inform your close ones that you suffer from social anxiety – they can help you!
I know this probably sounds mad, but telling your loved ones that you suffer from social anxiety can really help to improve the state of your mind because the sense of guilt and shame will reduce when you have the support of your loved ones.
They can help you in social situations and gatherings where you feel the build-up of anxiety; they can also help you with pinpointing where exactly you feel the most overwhelming level of anxiety and help you tackle the emotions in those particular social situations.
Tip 4: Avoid being with the wrong group of people
This ties in very closely with tip no. 3. Just as it is important to have the support of your loved ones to recover from social anxiety, it’s also just as crucial to avoid being part of a toxic friends’ group. Being surrounded by toxic people only elevates your social anxiety because they are unable to understand what you are going through, and may even deteriorate your state of mind, by putting you down, instead of trying to understand you and help you. Does that make sense girl? Remove toxic people from your life and watch the improvement in your social anxiety.
Tip 5: Do not use social media as a means to hide from your social anxiety
It is very tempting to just want to hide from people and interactions to avoid social anxiety. The world of social media may feel like a safe haven for you to avoid face-to-face interaction, however, this does you more harm than good. The world of social media is full of individuals who are living a different life onscreen and behind the screen. The temptation of comparison will make your social anxiety worse, as a result, your road to recovery will come to a halt!
Many times, comparing your life to an Instagrammer can ignite emotions of jealousy and enforce you to start shaming yourself. This eventually builds up to feelings of anxiety and makes it very difficult to deal with.
Tip 6: Exercise to help release endorphins
I know this is the old obvious one which just turns up on every friggin’ list, exercise for good health, exercise for good skin, exercise for anxiety, like seriously? But it’s true girl! Exercise helps to release endorphins (the happy hormones) which helps to boost the quality of not just your physical health, but also your mental health. The feeling of accomplishment after exercise is a great way to help you tackle the overwhelming feeling and panic you feel when social anxiety occurs. On the plus side, your figure is on point when you exercise regularly 😉
Tip 7: Practice speaking in front of the mirror
Speaking to people can feel extremely scary and cause you to panic and have a fast heartbeat when you suffer from social anxiety. This feeling of being “out of your control” can take a huge toll on your self-confidence, which in return slows down your recovery process from social anxiety. One way in which you can help build your confidence in speaking to other people is by practicing speaking in front of the mirror. This could be an informal chat, or a formal conversation, generally being able to make eye contact confidently in the mirror will help you to build up the same confidence to speak to people face-to-face.
This practice not only improves how you present yourself to other people, but it will also help you to deal with the panicking feeling of social anxiety when you interact with other individuals. Don’t worry about how you come across to other people, a little bit of practice will go a long way in recovering from this.
Tip 8: Taking up a class of interest which helps to make friends
Making FRIENDS? Nope. I’m here to get help for my social anxiety, not make it worse girl! Yep, I know, this sounds like the craziest advice to give to any person suffering from social anxiety. But, this is actually very important. Having exposure to people in small groups can help build up your courage to deal with your social anxiety; helping you to step out of the box and on your road to recovery.
To start with baby steps are essential: perhaps you can initially look for a class that you have an interest in, e.g. Pilates, web designing or sewing. Take a person who is close to you, so you don’t feel extremely worried of social interaction and setting into a panic mode from your social anxiety. Slowly try to interact with people in your class and build up the courage to speak first. I know the mind will always try to distract you and say “don’t make the first move – just see if anyone is willing to talk to me” but that can be very damaging to your self-confidence and make your social anxiety worse.
I hope these tips are useful and give you the courage to help win the battle against social anxiety! Always remember, your anxiety shouldn’t overpower you, because the greatest power is your willpower! Be strong and be brave, the battle is yours to WIN!
If you enjoyed reading this, check out Mental Health is Just as Important as Our Physical Health
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