Introverts v. Christmas

The whole point of Christmas is spending time with friends and family.

As an introvert this time of year is difficult because I find it tiring being around people all day long.

A real challenge for me is staying overnight at someone’s house. It is very draining to spend that much time “out”.

Don’t get me started on New Years Eve parties. I hate NYE. I hate chit chat with strangers. I’d rather just give it a miss and go to bed at 9pm.

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Below I’ve collated the advice that works best for me during this lovely but challenging time:

1. Acceptance

I think the first thing to do is accept that you are an introvert (if you are in fact an introvert).

Personally, when I was younger, I had a lot of resistance to being an introvert. I wanted to like parties. I wanted to like going out every Saturday night. I would feel bad if I didn’t go to a party but when I did go, then I would want to leave after 10 minutes.

Even in my 20s I wanted the life of a 40 year old.

Rather than pushing yourself to do things that you don’t want to do and pretending to like it, once you accept that you are an introvert then you can do the things you really want to do with less guilt.

Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured…Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to.

Susan Cain

Alternatively if you do go to the party, you don’t need to feel bad about not enjoying it. Just accept that you are an introvert. And everyone else is crazy.

 

2. Get Time Alone

Your solitude will be a support and a home for you, even in the midst of very unfamiliar circumstances, and from it you will find all your paths.

Rainer Maria Rilke

I know that I need to set aside alone time each day.

I try and walk for an hour a day by myself. I don’t invite anyone to come with me.

I also do Headspace for 20 minutes once a day. Having that regular practice helps reset my brain. It stops the crazy.

When introverts rule the world this would be the norm. For now though it often feels rude to say: “I’m going out by myself”. “I’m meditating. Please leave me alone.” But it has to be done.

3. Do Introvert- friendly things

Introvert- friendly group activities are things like a movie, or a bush walk, or a swim, or a board game. The key is to look for activities that you can do with other people, which aren’t so draining as mindless chit chat or as overwhelming as hanging out with a large group of strangers.

4. Recognise When You Are Overwhelmed

All introverts know that feeling – when you start to hate everybody and everything. Irritation levels are through the roof. Everything people say or do is SO annoying. Often I feel like I need to turn down the noise.

For these times I have an emergency plan. I take a “nap”. I have a shower. Headspace has some great SOS sessions, which help me to focus on my breathing. Getting out in nature helps too.

If all else fails, remind yourself that it can’t last forever. Though it may feel like forever.

 

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