The Introvert’s Guide to Surviving the Holidays

“‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring…and it was the introvert’s dream come true, tbh.” As an introvert myself, I’m always a bit torn this time of year. On the one hand, holidays and family and PRESENTS, oh yay! But on the other hand, all of that holiday socializing has me requesting Red Bull and Five Hour Energy as a preferred stocking stuffer. The holidays can be an exhausting time for the in-need-of-alone-time folks. So, hear me, fellow introverts! Here are a few tips on how to survive the holiday season without running on social fumes straight into the new year.

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If on a Winter’s Night” by Paul Sheaffer.

Take “social breaks”

Some call it ‘hiding’, I call it ‘recharging! Something that really helps this introvert build my energy back up during family gatherings is taking social breaks for a few minutes at a time. Escape to your room for a little while and catch up on your Instagrammin’. Head to a quiet area in the house and take some time to browse cool art. Hey, maybe even chill in the bathroom for a bit and read some of those magazines that are “just for show”. Taking brief scattered breaks throughout the night when you’re feeling socially drained is a great way to catch your social breath.

Cats Are Nice” by Joel Robinson.

Pet a cat or a pupper. 

Pets are a great excuse to be antisocial for a bit. When there’s an animal in the room – even if it’s just a goldfish – you’re automatically allowed to spend time socializing with them over the humans; it’s just law. Not to mention, studies have found that dogs, cats, and other furry friends can actually help lower stress and improve our psychological well-being (for real). So now you have a scientifically-based reason to take a break from the people and to roll around on the floor with a very good doggo or kitty…for health purposes.

Quiet Night” by Steven Rhodes.

Schedule some you-time

I know; this can be really hard to do during the holidays. But giving yourself quiet chill time is a major part of re-filling your social energy levels from zero back to 100. Try to schedule a little reading time, drawing time, or just solo chill time to keep bingeing that new show you can’t. stop. thinking about. Take advantage of post-meal chill time where everybody wants to rest and digest to sneak away and snag some solo time for yourself. And hey, it’s the holidays! And what better excuse is there than “Brb, I want to read that book you just got me”?

The Great Indoors” by Katie Lukes.

Chill out before and after your holiday events

Like I said, scheduling time alone for yourself can be really hard during the holidays. You’re surrounded by family (and the occasional inevitable drama), events, little cousins that need 24/7 attention, etc. If you know you’re about to go on a trip where you’ll have little to no solo time, take the days right before your holiday plans and right after as social lockdown days. Don’t schedule anything (or at least, don’t fill the day); just take those days to prepare and, subsequently, recoup.

Introvert!” by Nicholas Ginty.

Do the question-asking

Introverts get energy from alone time – not social time. So during conversations, introverts are often the ones listening and paying attention to others. Not the ones owning the room and dominating everyone with their own voice. Because let’s be real, talking is exhausting (that almost rhymed). I find that when I get socially tired, asking questions and listening to someone else talk about themselves is a great energy-saver. Balance it out and, when you get tired of answering those “are you still single? How’s work? What are you going to do with your major?” questions, ask a few yourself!

Nap Time, All the Time” by Nan Lawson.

Get sleep!

You can be the world’s most extroverted introvert, but socializing is always a little draining. When you have less energy, you have less to give towards the hyper-social holiday time. Catch some extra Zs; go to bed early, take a quick power nap in the afternoon. Give yourself an energy cushion to make the hours of family time a little easier to do (without having to throw back a Red Bull).

Featured design is “Sure-Footed” by David Olenick.

Carlyn Hill

Content manager & writer at Threadless by day, dad joke aficionado and contributor for sites like HelloGiggles and The Mary Sue by night. When she’s not writing or drawing, you can find her in her cave of a room and hanging out with her boyfriend, Netflix.

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