An Introvert’s Guide to Surviving the Holidays
By: Ashton Jenks
The holiday season is often very uplifting and the highlight of some people’s year. There are parties to attend, families to visit, and gifts to buy on black friday…….which in short is the introvert’s nightmare. Forced small talk, overly loud music, and pressure to perform are all extreme stressors for the average introvert, not to mention navigating the crazy world of politics that often comes up at family gatherings. However, the season can be enjoyable for an introvert as well, if you take proper precautions. So, here’s the introvert’s guide to surviving the holidays with your sanity intact!
1. Limit the number of things you agree to do. While this one may seem obvious, it’s easy to forget about. You may feel like you need to agree to go to every party or dinner, but learn to say no. Pick and choose the parties you decide to attend. Typically, you should choose ones that have people invited that you feel the most comfortable with. Also, smaller gatherings are easier to function at.
2. Make sure you bring some kind of escape to gatherings or outings. Whether it's a fully charged phone, or a good book, make sure you always have some way to calm yourself down before rejoining the mix.
3. Find the pets at a party! Almost everyone has a dog or cat, so spend some time socializing with a furry friend. It’s much less stressful.
4.Try to avoid group conversations. Try simply to talking to one person before you get into a group conversation.
5. Whenever you feel stressed about being asked questions, flip it around on the other person. Ask them some questions. If you’re in control of the conversation, you may feel a bit less awkward.
6. Memorize a list of holiday jokes to insert whenever the conversation lulls. It's pretty unchallenging and will score you easy social points! Bringing up holiday movies works well also.
7. Locate the restroom! If you ever just feel overwhelmed, this is the perfect place to take a break. Just say you have to go tinkle and no one will bother you.
8. Learn how to cook! This way, you can spend time in the kitchen instead of out mingling. And besides, then you’ll always have great cookies and might even get some compliments!
9. Take frequent steps outside. It will be nice and cold outside, which will refresh and reset your senses.
10. Make sure to block out more time for cleansing activities.Things like taking a warm bath, power reading a book, or watching a cute christmas movie are important things to make sure you have time to decompress.
11. When you do go to an event, set a time limit for yourself. Who knows, if you get to your appointed time and have relaxed enough, you might want to stay longer. If not, you can always politely slip out.
12. Most Importantly, make sure to tell your family about your needs. Let them know that you aren’t trying to be rude or anything, you just need your space.
And. . .that’s one for every day of christmas! So, I hope this helped with all of the anxiety introverts feel near the holiday season! And these are good for all year actually. Happy Holidays!