It seems like everyone is an introvert these days. It’s become such an internet buzzword that, on any given day, you can find an introvert’s guide to pretty much anything popping up on your newsfeed. Introverts: we’re finally cool. We are what’s happening. Introspection is the new black, and nobody is more introspective than an introvert. So, because there’s no such thing as original thought these days, here’s my contribution to the infinity pool of introvert posts: An Introvert’s Guide To The Holidays, or How Not To Lose Your Shit When You Are Surrounded By People For Days On End.
First, as long as you aren’t a recovering addict, drink alcohol whenever the opportunity presents itself.
It helps. You could also get high, but with the exception of the eight states who have passed laws allowing recreational marijuana, alcohol is going to be the simpler route. And with alcohol, chances are higher that you won’t devour the Chex mix in the holiday bowl. Go to it. Grease the wheels of social inhibitions. Mimosas or Irish Coffee on Christmas morning or a bottle of wine with dinner, these will help. And hey, at least it’s not Thanksgiving, so you won’t have your drunk Uncle Al droning on about making America great again.
Second, if you are hosting a gathering or get-together in your home that lasts multiple days, make sure you have a pre-established hiding spot.
You need to be safely away from everyone, where the only people who might be able to find you are your children. (Because chances are they follow you everywhere you go anyway.)
This is fine, because responsible parenting. If you want to do double duty, stash a bottle of booze in your hiding spot so you can increase your fortitude while you’re decompressing. Consider walk-in closets, master bathrooms, finished basements, or if you want to get creepy, the attic. No one will EVER check the attic.
Third, offer to run the errands.
There will inevitably be a store run at some point. Someone will need heavy cream or extra sharp cheddar cheese or something gluten-free for your sister’s kid. Or you might run out of alcohol because of all the fortitude increasing you’ve been doing. Be the first person to volunteer. Be insistent. Some do-gooder will offer to go in your place. Don’t let her. Elbows are allowed in the mad dash for the door. A well-placed hip-check into the counter wouldn’t be amiss either. Discreetly pack your tablet or book in your bag, then leave and find a nice quiet corner of a parking lot, and... Ahhhh, relax.
Stay gone until someone texts you to find out where you are. Chances are no one will miss you for at least an hour.
Fourth, if at all possible, skip stuff.
Yep. Bail. Ditch your extended family. Make up excuses. Blame the baby, say your husband has diarrhea, whatever it takes to cut down on holiday over-scheduling. You may already bail on your family anyway, so they totally expect it. But be smart about which events and functions you decide to skip. If there will be a chocolate fountain at one and a 6 ft. sub sandwich at another, we know which one you’re going to attend. No shame. #teamchocolate
And finally, nap.
Sleep as much as you can. Introverts need downtime and there is no better downtime than taking a ride on the sleepytown express. Pull down the shades, turn on some white noise, slip into your squishiest PJs, and take a damned day off. Or if naps aren’t your thing, schedule a massage. Go for a walk. Solitude, fam. You need it. And you need it not in the Publix parking lot or hiding in your closet. You need legit quiet time. So claim it. Own it. Treat yourself to time alone.
Holidays are hard for people like us, introverts. We need to be sure to take a little time to focus on caring for ourselves in between all the times we’re caring for everyone else, especially during the holidays when things are so hectic. Taking a little time out for yourself may seem like a big deal during such an intense time, but as the saying goes, “You can’t pour from an empty cup." So refill yours often. Even if it’s with sangria.
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