Ah, it’s that time of year again.
As the month of December draws nearer, introverts around the world are gearing themselves up for the most social time of the calendar.
There are so many aspects of Christmas that I adore. Digging out the glittery baubles, the smell of mince pies and mulled wine, having time curled up at home with the fire burning, and of course spending time with the people that I love.
However, Christmas can also be a hugely exhausting time for introverts. With parties and social events taking place left, right and centre, introverts can often find themselves surrounded by people for the entire season. The result being that little time remains for solitude and quiet moments; something that introverts need in order to recharge their batteries.
I know from my own past experience that I’ve got to the end of some Christmas periods and felt a huge sense of relief that it was over. Unlike many people I really enjoy the early days of January and the reflective time that each new leaf brings.
However over recent years, I’ve also learnt how to manage my energy much more carefully so that I can really enjoy this time. Rather than looking at Christmas as something that will tire me out, I instead look at it as what it really is – a celebratory time that should be enjoyed by all.
Managing your energy during this busy period can be a delicate balancing act that takes some practice, however there are certainly ways that you can get fully involved with Christmas whilst still honouring who you are. It’s just a case of being self-aware and giving yourself what you need.
If you find that Christmas often leaves you feeling exhausted, the tips below will help ensure you give yourself a break and don’t find yourself running on empty.
1. Avoid the busy shops
You’ve got to accept that at some point leading up to Christmas you’ll probably need to face the shops. However, that doesn’t mean that you must queue up for hours whilst getting elbowed by other frantic shoppers. Beat the queues by making the most of online shopping or being organised and heading out early (I can guarantee that doing your shopping on Christmas eve is going to raise your blood pressure!). Alternatively why not try making your presents at home? You can grab yourself a cuppa, put on some music, and then get crafty. It’s so much more relaxing!
2. Don’t say yes to everything
Just because people are inviting you to attend parties or go out for Christmas drinks doesn’t mean you always have to say yes. Make sure you build some breathing space into your calendar to allow some time to re-energise yourself ready for the next event. Four days in a row of seeing people constantly could be enough to tire anyone, but if you’re introverted then it could leave you burnt out before Christmas day has even arrived. Protect your diary and be honest with people. If they care about you then they’ll understand if you need a bit of quiet time. Plus, it’s much better all round to see people when you’re actually in the mood for being social!
3. Find little moments of quiet
During parties and other social gatherings, make sure you give yourself little quiet moments here and there to catch your breath. Volunteering to help out in the kitchen, stepping out for some fresh air, hanging out with the host’s dog for a while or simply taking a bathroom break are all ways that you can step back from the party for a few minutes to boost your energy. Develop some self-awareness of how you’re feeling and it will be a lot easier to give yourself little breaks when you need it.
4. Look after your body
Christmas is of course a time of indulgence and temptation and I’m certainly not going to suggest you give up all the goodies. However, the more you look after your body during this time, the easier it is to maintain your energy levels. Try and get enough sleep, drink lots of water, get out and about for some exercise and eat your greens as well as the chocolate! By doing this you’ll be giving your body and mind the best chance of recovery in-between all the festivities.
5. Remember that it’s your Christmas too!
Christmas is a holiday season for everyone so turn it into something that feels right for you. Make time for the things you love, build in rest time, and enjoy it! If you want to spend an afternoon curled up reading your new book then do it, if you fancy pulling on your boots and heading out for a solitary hike then go for it. There’s no reason why you can’t see people AND still have a restful and enjoyable Christmas – you just need to take a bit of control and do things things your own special way.
OVER TO YOU…