Make a Party Escape Plan to Help Social Anxiety
If you’re seeking social anxiety help, a party escape plan may be for you. Recently, I had a small gathering at my house. A friend who, like me, has depression expressed some anxiety about attending. Her partner had already decided to come, so I devised and suggested a party escape plan for her to help minimize social anxiety. Here are the elements of a solid anxiety-reducing party escape plan.
What Elements Make Up a Party Escape Plan?
Arrive Early to Help With Social Anxiety
I suggested my friend arrive early, before other guests. That way, she’d feel at home and settled as others arrived, rather than feeling like an outsider if arriving after most people had gotten comfortable. That outsider feeling can create social anxiety even for those without mental illness. Attending with her partner and knowing the hosts would hopefully help create that feeling of belonging.
Arrange Separate Transportation to Lessen Anxiety
My friend’s partner had already decided to attend, so I asked if they could drive separately. Then she could escape whenever she wanted without feeling like she was affecting his plans if she wanted to leave and he didn’t. Sometimes we can end up staying somewhere uncomfortable just to avoid inconveniencing someone, so I wanted her to feel agency in both her arrival and her exit.
Dissipate Social Anxiety by Removing Expectations
I let her know that it was fine with me if she came for the entire event, for just five minutes, or not at all if she wasn’t feeling well. Of course, I made it clear I’d enjoy her presence, but I also made sure to stress the fact that she wasn’t socially obligated to me in any way. I emphasized that her mental health and wellbeing are far more important to me than her attendance.
Party Escape Plans Reduce Anxiety Right Away
With these elements planned for, my friend immediately felt some anxiety relief. At that moment, I realized I’ve been setting these party escape plans for my own social anxiety help for quite some time. These three steps allow me to stay at functions longer simply because I know I can leave at any time. Similarly, my friend ended up attending and staying for the entire length of the party with my suggestions in place.
Anxiety can be a singular issue or a companion to depression; likewise, social anxiety can be its own disorder, a situational type of more general anxiety, or a symptom of depression (or other mental illness). If you find yourself withdrawing socially due to your mental health, a party escape plan can be one method to provide some social anxiety help.
Meredith, M. (2019, February 10). Make a Party Escape Plan to Help Social Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, November 30 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/livingablissfullife/2019/2/make-a-party-escape-plan-to-help-social-anxiety