Usually, I get just as excited about Christmas as most people do. I talk about it before December, I’ve had advent calendars in my adult years and I’ve almost cried at Christmas themed supermarket adverts. So, clearly Christmas is something that I very much buy into and for the most part I love this time of year. I want old movies and Kris Kindle presents and chocolate. And yet, while I’m pretty far from being any kind of Grinch, there are some things about Christmas which I find challenging. Christmas for most people is a manic explosion of socialising. If you’re an introvert, this might feel a bit overwhelming.
Christmas is the one time of the year that people forget about their own lives and spend their time constantly surrounded by people.
In place of filling your day up with what you need or want to do at Christmas, cramming in as many familiar faces as possible becomes the priority. We all start off enthusiastic and merry until our social energy deflates and we’re left feeling a bit stressed and short of time for things other than socialising.
While introverted people can enjoy Christmas just as much as extroverts, we introverts, no matter what time of the year, need our space. If you’re someone who needs a lot of ‘me time’ to be at your best, then it’s vital that you find that time during the festive season too. No matter how many social obligations you may have, you still have to keep yourself happy and in the best frame of mind. If you don’t want to have a jam-packed calendar and you don’t want to catch up with old friends every evening over the season, that’s okay. Whatever works for you.
The copious amounts of small talk and strangers that Christmas invites are enough to frazzle any introvert.
The constant interaction that surrounds Christmas is enough to leave any introvert feeling drained and ready to embark on a new life on a remote island. However, there are a few simple tricks that can make the holiday season more enjoyable and more relaxing for introverts. I’m someone who likes having a lot of space and I’ve found these tips have let me really get the most out of Christmas:
1. Organise your social calendar:
At Christmas there are so many people to see that the days leading up to Christmas often become chaotic and disorganised. Having all of your necessary Christmas meet-ups organised in advance takes lots of the hassle out of this. For people who need time to themselves, having as much as possible arranged means it’s much easier to fit in some alone time.
2. Let go of waning friendships:
Christmas is the one time of year when people not only try to spend time with their nearest and dearest but also their distant and infrequent friends. Christmas can be a sentimental time and it’s great to stay in touch with as many people as possible but for those you only see once a year maybe just sending a nice card or a heartfelt text will take some of the pressure of for both parties. Or better still; maybe wait until the New Year so that you really have time to catch up.
3. Be an early riser:
While this may not work for everyone, one great way of getting some ‘me time’ is to simply get up earlier. This is an especially good idea for anybody that might have extra people staying in their house around this time of the year. Get up and get at least two hours of time to yourself to do what you like. In winter we especially need that extra dose of daylight, so this can be a great time to exercise!
4. Be the first one to suggest a movie:
Although there’s a lot to be said for sitting around, chatting and eating, one of the best things in my opinion about Christmas is that it’s perfectly acceptable to watch movies at any hour of the day! So embrace it and be the first one to suggest a good afternoon with a classic movie.
5. Keep busy and active:
The Christmas period is a good time to keep busy and fill your time with things you wouldn’t normally get to do. Whether that’s offering to take your family dog on a walk, clearing out your wardrobe or starting that new exercise class you’ve had your eye on, you’ll be able to carve out a bit of time for yourself in the day, while also doing something productive.
6. Push yourself out of your comfort zone:
While it’s easy to lead a fairly independent life, Christmas really is about reconnecting with those around you. While this is easier for some, it’s definitely worth trying to branch out a bit and have fun. Having meaningful connections is just as important for introverts as it is for extroverts so use this time to bond with old friends and maybe even make some new ones! It’s all about balance – you can fit in time for yourself and spend time with loved ones. Just find a way that works for you.