The holidays are wonderful time to socialize with friends and family, and interfere with serious cave time. Where before you could balance social involvement with alone processing, this time of year is a jumble of humans everywhere talking and touching your space. Our local mall usually has about ten people walking the hallways, and December is filled with folks with bags of goodies coming out of the woodwork specifically to interact with other humans in order to buy gifts. How can a sensitive introvert survive? Here are my holiday tips to share which has worked for me, sorta.
- Buy online. Sit at your computer. Put on your bunny slippers. Make some calming tea. Then gleefully hit ORDER at several different online purchasers. Wasn’t that easy? (Do shop at my site here, of course, for lovely gifts. And at my Etsy, or Society6.) Look, you still have time to watch a movie, take a delightful bath as the post office and UPS guy does all the work.
- Fill up with humor. Check out the spoof on the Williams Sonoma catalog, watch Saturday Night Live clips. Isn’t that funny? So snarky.
- Limit what you will do. Six activities in a day? Great for that extroverted twenty-year-old friend who doesn’t need naps and drinks energy drinks. Let her do it. Compromise by saying yes to two that you can handle, and go take that delightful bath while everyone parties. Sure, they want you to be involved in the non-stop activity. But unless you can find an elixir that gives you the energy level of a twelve-year-old with no stress, you better sit this one out or your head is going to hurt. (And if you can find that elixir, I want it. NOW.)
- Also limit how much Christmas music comes into your brain. A few Harry Connick Jr. and Nat King Cole a week before or on Christmas is happy, soothing and joyous. A month of it? You want to smash things into tiny things with a hammer. This tip goes with “better to shop online” vs. store music blaring.
- Expect drama. It’s family time, so there will be drama of some sort. See it as a giant television and observe. It’s a little like watching The Bachelor, but LIVE. Like live theater on Broadway…almost. Jot it all down and use it in your next memoir or novel. This is good material here. You can’t make this stuff up.
- Find a cave to retreat to when you need it. Great places: a coffee shop. Yes there are people but they all talk at once so it’s like this background hum. Try the library. Barnes and Noble on the floor by the Art section. So cozy. Visit that tiny store no one goes into. We were in a bookstore the other day and we were the only people. And it was so dark in there I could have grabbed a pillow and taken a nap. (Hmmm…I’m seeing a definite nap theme in my list)
- Give your imagination a break. Don’t worry or think about the state of the world politics that are looking pretty scary, or fill up with fear from the fake and real news. Just tell your brain to take a rest for a few weeks. You can come back later and imagine that awful disease you have according to Google.
- Watch your sugar levels. I know this one is hard. I am the cupcake queen. And this time of year is all about CHRISTMAS COOKIES. But sugar makes your blood sugar go up and down and up and down and then there’s lots of anxiety and other crap to go with it later on. Just a suggestion (as she eats that pumpkin muffin hidden in my cabinet)
- Run away from home and join a band of introverts living in the woods. Just kidding. Then you would have to deal with the other introverts out there and that’s just more people to deal with. But trees are good.
- And number ten…engage in introvert-like activities. Reflect on the year with an Unravel the year download (love that stuff), make a photo album as a gift, make craft gifts. This is what you do best, Introvert. Holed up somewhere, making stuff, contemplating, for the good of others. Here’s your excuse. Sorry, I can’t leave my studio for two weeks. I am making gifts.
Enjoy your holidays from your cave, Introvert. You will get through this. From my family to yours,