A Holiday Survival Guide (For Introverts)

A Holiday Survival Guide (For Introverts)

The holiday season is a time when the invitations roll in, people come together, and socialising becomes the number one focus. While it’s a merry season full of joy and fun with plenty of opportunities to spend time with loved ones, it can also be stressful and anxiety-inducing - particularly for introverts.

Whether you’re a guest or a host, entertaining can be incredibly draining especially if you don’t have a contingency plan. This survival guide to the holidays is designed for introverts who struggle with socialising; it will help you feel less stressed and more able to enjoy the festive social gatherings.

Prioritise Your Plans

If you find socialising to be draining or have social anxiety, limit the amount of events, parties, and gatherings you attend this holiday season. Prioritise your time and don’t make too many plans; you do not have to attend things you do not want to so don’t be afraid of passing on invitations. Be open with the person inviting you and explain why you won’t be joining them this time. Excuses only make people feel rejected so being as honest as possible is the best way to go when turning down an invitation. Prioritising your time means you’ll have more energy for the events you do attend and the people you talk to.

Have A Guest List

If you’re hosting, make it invite-only. You’ll know exactly who’s coming and you can limit the numbers to a level you feel comfortable with. It will also allow you to avoid potential issues with conflicting personalities and create the kind of gathering that you find enjoyable. You might be tempted to invite only introverts but adding extroverts to the guest list helps keep the conversation flowing and relieves the pressure of having to constantly be “switched on”. Extroverts can be an introverts worse nightmare (especially if they’re overbearingly loud), however, gentle extroverts often energise the room, keep the conversation flowing, and help introverts feel more lively.

A Holiday Survival Guide (For Introverts)

Dress For Confidence

The festive season is a chance for people who haven’t seen each other all year to finally get together and dressing up for the occasion is often expected. Wear clothes that are comfortable but also make you feel confident. Choose an outfit that's both suitable for the occasion and your personal style; the most important thing is to dress for yourself. It’s not a great idea to wear something you’ve never worn before, that’s out of your comfort zone or not 100% comfortable. It’s hard to engage with people if you feel self-conscious and physically uncomfortable in your clothes; you’ll find it easier relax and socialise if what you’re wearing makes you feel good.

Create A Safe Space

If you’re hosting, create a safe space to retreat into. Make it off-limits to guests and feel free to drop in and out of it when you need to catch your breath and reorientate yourself. Having the comfort of knowing there is a place for you to go when it all gets too much will give you peace of mine and help you feel more relaxed. You might not even have to use it. Guests aren’t likely to step into your bedroom and it’s already a comfortable space you can sit or even lie down in for a moment’s peace, which makes it the ultimate safe place. Have all the comforts you need at hand and don’t be afraid of letting your guests know you need to moment to yourself if you feel yourself getting overwhelmed.

Have A Recovery Plan

For introverts especially, being around people (particularly a lot of them all at once) can be intense and overwhelming. Setting up a recovery plan where you can unwind after socialising is essential to recuperate. A few simple comforts like having a bath, taking a walk on your own, or sitting with a cup of tea could be enough to decompress after social activity. Think about what would help you relax and make time in your holiday to do just that. After every event or occasion, particularly if it’s a larger than usual gathering of people, give yourself some time off; don’t book too many attendances too close together, it’ll give you space to recover and recuperate after socialising.

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A Holiday Survival Guide (For Introverts)