How you can navigate that holiday gathering anxiety

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Millions of Americans will gather together in the coming days for Thanksgiving. For some, it’s an easygoing and comfortable gathering. But there’s always a chance that a controversial or sensitive topic will come up. And you can’t avoid certain relatives. So, how can you navigate uncertainty that awaits during the holidays?

“How to handle anxiety, the biggest thing to remember is time for yourself,” inpatient psychiatrist Dr. Roni Radigan said. “Even the little things, so 20 minutes to read, 20 minutes of silence, take time to listen to music, a bath by yourself.”

The phrase “what’s new” can take on new relevance, too.

“Maybe there’s going to be new people there, maybe people that you haven’t seen for a while, so maybe your goal is to find out one new thing about everybody that you talked to that day,” integrated health therapist Karla Salem said.

“Anxiety’s very normal, especially with all of the heated topics that have been occurring over the last year, some of which the pandemic and the politics can be very anxiety-provoking for a lot of people,” Radigan said.

But how we interact with each other around the table doesn’t have to be as it always was.

“It might be a good time to kind of think about how to relate to each other as adults and kind of get rid of or process or let go of the past,” Salem said.

“One of the things I talk with my patients on a daily basis is that we’re all very different, and that’s okay,” Radigan said. “Actually, it’s a good thing, to remember that the way we view things is just one perception.”

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