Everyone has their own calming techniques and preferences. Find out what works for you.
Over Christmas, there’s usually lots of visiting friends and family, but sometimes it’s not exciting. Sometimes you can feel anxious about seeing them, or you may think, ‘what if I have a panic attack while I’m with my family or friends?’
It’s normal to feel this – I know many people, including myself, that have had these thoughts. Here’s some tips on what I do to cope.
Before seeing friends or family
I always practice my mindfulness and breathing before seeing friends and family. It’s a common tip, but it definitely works for me. Try to remind yourself that there’s no danger with your family or friends, and that you are safe with them. I also like to go outside and embrace the sunlight and fresh air, because it helps your mind when you feel physically good.
On Christmas morning
When I’ve been anxious on Christmas morning, I look at pictures of palm trees and beaches because this makes me feel calmer, but everyone has their own calming techniques and preferences. Find out what works for you.
We all have moments like this sometimes, and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
If you do have a panic attack
Last year, I had a panic attack while I was with my family. I went up to the bathroom, did my breathing exercises, cooled my hands down with cold water and splashed my face to make myself aware that I was still there and I was okay. When I was feeling calmer, I went back downstairs and said to everyone that I just went to the bathroom and nobody questioned anything.
We all have moments like this sometimes, and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. But, sometimes it can be easier if you want to say, ‘I just popped to the loo’.
Remember, you are resilient
I hope these techniques help you as much as they have helped me. Remember you are resilient and you will get back up when you fall down.
Remember you are resilient and you will get back up when you fall down.
More information and advice
We have tips and advice to help you find the support you need. Take a look at our guides.
Where to get help
However you're feeling, there are people who can help you if you are struggling. Here are some services that can support you.
If you’re under 19 you can confidentially call, chat online or email about any problem big or small.
Can provide a BSL interpreter if you are deaf or hearing-impaired.
Hosts online message boards where you can share your experiences, have fun and get support from other young people in similar situations.
- Opening times:
Text SHOUT to 85258.
Shout provides free, 24/7 text support for young people across the UK experiencing a mental health crisis.
All texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors.
Texts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus.
Texts can be anonymous, but if the volunteer believes you are at immediate risk of harm, they may share your details with people who can provide support.
Please note: From the 1 April 2023, texting ‘YM’ to 85258 will no longer be available to use. You can still use Shout as a support service for your mental health.
Shout is a separate and external organisation from YoungMinds.
- Opening times: