“Quiet people have the loudest minds.” Stephen Hawking“Don’t underestimate me because I’m quiet. I know more than I say, think more than I speak and observe more than you know.” ~ Michaela Chung
The busy holiday season is on the way, are you ready? The annual holiday rush can be a joyful time, but it can also be exhausting, especially if you are already feeling worn out and drained. And if you are an introvert, the holiday season can easily leave you feeling over-stimulated and well, frazzled. This year I encourage you to create your introvert holiday survival plan.
Introverts are often misunderstood – seeming aloof, stuck up, disconnected, or just plain selfish, we often make sacrifices to appease the extroverted masses. Our inclinations to protect our alone time and to avoid situations we find overstimulating can leave us feeling torn between what we feel we “should” be doing, and what is best for our physical, emotional, and intellectual health.
Being an introvert during the holidays can lead to exhaustion and resentment.
Introvert Holiday Survival Plan
So what’s an introvert to do? I challenge you to create your own Introvert Holiday Survival Plan. Here are a few ideas:
- First – realize there is nothing wrong with being an introvert. Just because other people are energized by the holidays and family gatherings and you tend to dread them, doesn’t make you a bad person.
- Pace yourself – just because the extroverts enjoy spending every minute with family and friends, doesn’t mean you have to. Choose your activities wisely – don’t be afraid to say “no” or have an early exit plan to avoid overwhelm.
- Try to create more down time in your regular routine – let some non-essentials go so you can focus on recharging and having the alone time you need.
- Make an effort to get enough sleep. We are less likely to feel overwhelmed and irritable if we are well rested. Herbs are a great way to get better sleep, and you can enjoy a simple herbal tea as part of your bedtime routine. These are my favorite 5 Herbs for Better Sleep
- Include time for your favorite activities – reading, writing, quiet walks in nature, or tucked into the couch for a Netflix binge.
- Practice simple deep breathing to re-center yourself. Bringing awareness to your breath can lessen the stress response and lower cortisol levels.
- Enjoy some herbal teas to help you unwind your mind and body – 4 Herbal Remedies for Stress
Remember that by taking care of yourself, you are better able to care for others. For introverts, this may mean limiting our time at a family event, or skipping it. Instead we may choose to see individual family members separately.
For me, family time at my in-laws, although pleasant, is quickly overstimulating and exhausting. After only a short time, I start craving an escape. It’s not because I don’t enjoy the company of my in-laws, they are an easy-going and fun bunch, but being in large groups simply wears me out.
Skipping these events, or leaving early can easily be misunderstood by the family – they may think I don’t care to spend time with them.
I would rather make plans for smaller get-togethers with family, and in this way, we typically enjoy deeper and more substantial conversations. In our own way, we are strengthening our family bonds.
Being aware of our needs as an introvert, and having a plan to balance those needs with meeting the expectations of family and friends can help us navigate our way through the holiday season with less stress.
What’s your introvert survival plan for the holidays?
Leave a comment and let us know!