The holiday season is peppered with parties, and this year, you have received your full share of invitations. You are not much of a party person, however. In fact, large social affairs make you uneasy. You are not alone. Thousands of people suffer from party anxiety and dread the holiday season specifically because of all of the functions they must attend.

Some people get more stressed out than others at parties. If the thought of going to a holiday party puts you on edge, give yourself a break this year and limit the number of parties you attend. You don’t have to go to every single party you are invited to. Select the most important ones and turn down all of the rest.

Prepare for every party you attend. Take some time to unwind and relax hours before. Go for a walk at the gym or indulge in a long, hot bubble bath. Select comfortable clothing that suits the tone of the event. There is nothing more nerve-wracking than arriving to a party and discovering you are over- or underdressed. Give yourself a little pep talk right before you leave and be on your merry way.

Set a time frame for the party. Arrive sometime after it begins and leave within an hour or so. Never be the first to arrive; the pressure will be too much. Don’t leave too early, or your host could be offended. Stay at least an hour, and if you are feeling up to it and having fun, go ahead and stay later. Leave when most of the guests begin doing so.

When you first arrive, mingle and stake out a place where you can escape the crowd if needed. If you know the host well, you can probably go to their kitchen or study. If you don’t, then perhaps you can go outside or sit in your car for a few minutes. Use your little hideout any time the action gets to be too much and you need a breather.

Try to have fun at the party and never lose sight of the reason you are there-to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. Mingle with others, have some food and enjoy yourself. The more effort you put into the party, the more likely you are to have fun and the faster time will fly.

These are just a few tips for beating the party time blues. Of course, if you are a true wallflower and the thought of going to a string of holiday parties scares you to death, you may want to enroll in a class with a conversation or life coach. They will give you pointers on striking up and maintaining conversations with others and getting through each affair, making you much less fearful overall.

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