Holidays, Routine Changes, and Anxiety

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Been feeling stressed. I don’t know if it is because I am autistic or just part of my personality, but even the smallest changes to my routine tend to throw me off and cause a lot of anxiety…and the holidays seem to be filled with those kinds of routine manglers.

For instance, tonight I have a friend’s Yule party to go to and tomorrow I am supposed to meet my mom for an early Christmas dinner/present exchange. Part of me is looking forward to these events and even wants to go, but part of me is stressed out and just wants to go back to bed and hide under the covers until the weekend is over.

All the anxiety takes a physical toll too. It turns my tummy into a wreck and brings on headaches that can easily slip into migraines if I’m not careful. The anxiety last night about the events this weekend was so bad that it did give me a migraine, so I had to take my migraine prescription. Hoping that won’t happen again.

I often tend to think depression is worse than anxiety because its symptoms are more obvious and immediate, but I think I underestimate the compounding ability of high anxiety.

9 thoughts on “Holidays, Routine Changes, and Anxiety

  1. I have chronic pain and am autistic too. Like you I find the holiday season stressful and the stress leads to big issues with my pain. A couple of years ago I tried a new way to deal with it. Rather than seeing the holidays as an “off timetable” period of time I decided to make my own Christmas routine and try to maintain it. This really helped, because I don’t feel so rudderless and lost during the holiday anymore. Of course there are still stresses and there are always little changes I have to deal with so it’s not easy, but it does help.

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  2. I hope the Yule party went okay and the meeting with your mum, too. I’m lucky in not having friends or extended family in the sense that I don’t have to deal with outings, but I do have to deal with my brother coming over for Christmas and changes to routines in general around this time, which I don’t deal very well with (understatement!) Just remember, you can handle whatever happens. You’ve done it before, you can do it again. Breathe. It’s incredibly uncomfortable and if you’ve already got high anxiety and/or depression these kinds of things just rachet it up x100, but you will survive it and it will be okay. If there are things you don’t want to do, stand your ground; try to keep whatever calming measures in place that you can and stick to them, be firm if there are things you need to do to make this a little more manageable. Sending hugs ♥
    Caz xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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