I have a confession that I hesitate to make even in this safe space, because I know I will shock and disappoint a few of you.
I also know I’m not the only one, even though I feel alone. So, at the risk of letting some of you down, I share my sad little secret hoping to come alongside to encourage and support anyone who can relate.
So here it goes and please forgive me…
I dread Christmas.
Please don’t leave me! Let me explain and maybe you will understand…
And if you secretly feel the same, I hope that my three easy suggestions will help you get through your Christmas anxiety.
Anxiety During the Holidays
Really…? “Get through” Christmas…?
It’s so sad, yet very true for many women. Whether you admit it even to yourself, to a certain extent, December is something we endure.
I love Jesus – just like you do – and the sacrifice He made to come to earth as a little baby moves me to tears with gratitude every year.
But I dread Christmas because it’s overwhelming. There’s just too much shopping, socializing, and preparation crammed into one month. And, as an introvert, my soul turns into a desert without the nourishment of quiet and solitude.
I regularly adjust my focus to Jesus and realign my attitude to enjoy the festive season. Yet, even when I’m happy, there’s an undercurrent in my body. I feel like walking electricity.
Dealing with Christmas Anxiety
For many women, Christmas comes with tension, a feeling of being trapped. Your heart might race or you may feel like you’ve guzzled 10 energy drinks. I drop things, I can’t think or remember, and the whole left side of my face is numb for most of the month.
If you’re like me, you don’t understand why your husband thinks you’re yelling at him. Maybe you also lay down at night only to realize you’re hyperventilating.
Even though I’m happy, December is one long anxiety attack.
I want this year to be different, don’t you?
Peace Beyond Understanding
I learned a few things about how anxiety affects the body this year when I had cancer.
I was so blessed because my cancer was early and treatable. I knew that after treatment, I’d be fine. I leaned on Jesus more than ever, and He gave me His peace beyond understanding.
But my body was still frazzled.
Yes, anxiety is both psychological and biological. Our bodies can feel anxious even when our mind is at rest, which is both uncomfortable and frustrating.
Jesus is not only the Prince of Peace, but He is also the Great Physician, so I leaned on Him to align my body with my mind.
3 Super-Efficient Ways to Relieve Christmas Anxiety Attacks
With Jesus’ prompting, I learned three easy ways to calm the physical symptoms of anxiety when there is no way out of the situation. The tricks I learned this year are perfect for Christmas anxiety because none of them take added time.
1.) 4 Bible Verses to Calm Anxiety (with deep breathing)
The laws of biology say that deep breathing will lower your heart rate and calm your body when you do it right.
First, close your mouth and inhale slowly and deeply through your nose while directing the breath towards your abdomen. When your tummy cannot expand any more, hold the breath for just a second or two. Then part your lips and slowly exhale through your mouth. This allows for the oxygen to go through your lungs and into your bloodstream to nourish your body.
This is too complicated when I’m anxious, so I “smell the flower and blow out the candle”.
And so that Jesus is breathing with me, I have a go-to Scripture, adapted to make it personal and speak directly to my body.Relieve anxiety attacks by doing deep breathing with Jesus. Find out how… Click To Tweet
Here are 4 verses that you can use to practice deep breathing with Jesus.
Smell the flower: I can do all things
Blow out the Candle: Through Christ who strengthens me (Phil 4:13)
Smell the flower: I will call for You
Blow out the candle: And You will answer me (Psa 86:7)
Smell the flower: You lead me beside quiet waters,
Blow out the candle: You refresh my soul. (Psa 23:2)
Smell the flower: You give me strength
Blow out the Candle: and bless me with peace (Psa 29:11)
2.) Listen to the Bible
My YouVersion app is my go-to during the workday when my body shakes. It’s perfect because I don’t have to stop what I’m doing.
I can’t pay attention to the audio, but I catch bits and pieces. And the Word of the Lord gives life to dry my dry bones as Scripture fills the room like a candle.
There are so many free audio Bible Apps for iPhone and Android, such as YouVersion, Bible.is, and Faith Comes By Hearing. Websites to listen to the Bible for free online include BibleGateway.com and Bible.com.Learn 3 time-efficient ways to overcome anxiety attacks this Christmas Click To Tweet
3.) Quick Prayer for Difficult Holiday Gatherings
Holiday gatherings are fun, but they also come with challenges. I get lost and overwhelmed in a large crowd. And there are some parties and people we’d all rather avoid.
This year, Jesus is coming to Christmas parties with me. I hope you will use this prayer or your own to take Jesus to Christmas get-togethers with you.
You’re doing this with me, Jesus, because I can’t do it without you. I know you are here and you will stay with me. I can do this because you are here. Thank you for staying with me.
Before You Go…
Dear friends, thank you for sticking with me this far. I’m so grateful that you gave me a chance to explain myself.
I hope at least one of my suggestions will help those of you who struggle through the Christmas chaos. And I hope you will leave me a comment and let me know how you find peace during the Christmas season.
Finally, I leave you with a beautiful, peaceful Christmas song from Matt Maher’s album “The Advent of Christmas.” It’s called “Always Carry You,” featuring Amy Grant. I’ll be listening to it a lot in the coming weeks!