Summer is the best time of year for cookouts, catching up with family, barbecues and pool parties. However, if you are one of the thousands of people coping with Social Anxiety Disorder, it can feel like one scary event after another. Instead of letting Social Anxiety Disorder dictate your summer schedule, use these tips to manage your anxiety and enjoy your summer.
Before going to one of the summer activities you have planned, take time alone to relax. If you worry about how nervous you will be, the event (and period leading up to it) won’t be any fun. Instead of bringing a negative and nervous mindset to the picnic or party, take time to center yourself. Things like yoga, meditation and other relaxation techniques can all help to keep nerves at bay and center your feelings.
Walk it off
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to manage depression, stress and anxiety. Getting your body moving for half an hour every day can help your body to better manage your feelings of anxiety. Is walking not your speed? Try riding a bike, hiking in a local park, swimming or doing workout tapes to get your blood pumping.
Put the glass down
While beer and wine are plentiful at summer cookouts, they aren’t a good tool for effectively managing your Social Anxiety Disorder. Alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes are all stimulants that will actually increase your anxiety. If you can’t resist enjoying a drink at your family barbecue, stick to just one and cut yourself off mid-drink if you notice an uptick in your anxiety level.
Practice, practice, practice
Unfortunately, even if you follow all of the above suggestions, you will still experience Social Anxiety Disorder. Take the plunge anyway, and realize that every summer situation won’t be comfortable right off the bat. Instead, focus on working your way up to experiencing social situations without fear. Nervous about digging into your hamburger in front of others at a cookout? Start small and eat in front of your family or one friend. Scared of talking on the phone while planning your son’s pool party? Call one friend once a week to ease yourself into the habit. Managing your Social Anxiety Disorder doesn’t mean getting it right every time, but it does mean trying.
Get in Touch
Need advice on managing your social anxiety during the summer months? Contact CBT Baltimore to get on the right track at 443-470-9815.