Summer means endless social activities, both for yourself and your kids. It can also mean triggering the symptoms of your Social Anxiety Disorder. But instead of letting your Social Anxiety Disorder symptoms put a damper on your summer plans, try these tips for better managing your symptoms.
Before heading out to one of your summer activities, take some time for yourself to relax. If you think you’re going to be anxious and stressed, you will be. Instead of walking into an event with this mindset, take some deep, calming breaths, do yoga, or listen to music beforehand. Practicing relaxation techniques can help to ease your tensions and make you feel calm before walking into a situation that typically makes you feel uncomfortable.
Regular exercise has been shown to decrease levels of anxiety and stress. Get your body moving doing an activity you enjoy, such as bike riding, hiking, or swimming, to help you focus your attention on the movements of your body instead of your upcoming plans.
Stay Away from Alcohol
Despite what you may think, having a beer at that BBQ will not help your Social Anxiety Disorder. Alcohol, along with caffeine and cigarettes, is actually a stimulant that can increase your anxiety levels. It’s best to stay away from these things if you want to manage your Social Anxiety Disorder symptoms, but if you do have them, have only small quantities so that your anxiety doesn’t skyrocket.
Take the Plunge
Sometimes, the best way to manage your anxiety is to confront those situations that cause you to feel anxious. That doesn’t mean automatically walking into a pool party and feeling comfortable. What it does mean is practicing those situations until you feel less anxiety. If eating in front of people makes you uncomfortable, start by having small meals in front of family. If you fear talking on the phone, trying calling a close friend once a week to get used to it. While you may be extremely uncomfortable and anxious at first, the more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll become.
Get Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment
You won’t always be able to manage your Social Anxiety Disorder symptoms on your own. If you find that you are constantly anxious, no matter how much you try to manage your symptoms, you will likely need Social Anxiety Disorder treatment. Through a combination of therapy and medication, you will be able to better manage your symptoms and be able to enjoy all the fun awaiting you this summer.