Tips for Introverts to Survive Holiday Parties

As an introvert at heart, the holidays have always been a time of major stress for me. The gathering of family members you haven't seen in months or even years can be quite daunting for someone who enjoys their alone time.

Introverts typically thrive from being alone, whereas extroverts thrive from being with others. As you can guess, this is why holidays are full of uneasiness and increasing anxiety.

Seeing that family gatherings over the holidays are always going to be a part of my life, I have learned how to manage the anxiety and stress that comes with them.

1. Breathe.

breathe

Inhale and exhale. I have noticed that when I get around a lot of people my anxiety tends to come out in the form of a stomach ache, which occurs when I stop breathing and hold onto the tension. When I focus on my breathing, my anxiety lessons, creating ease for my stomach and allows me to enjoy the company around me.

2. Distract.

distract

Last holiday, I brought coloring books with me to my in-laws so I would have something to do besides sit around and chat anxiously. At first, it felt kind of odd, but it turned out to be a nice bonding experience with everyone, and the talking came easier doing something relaxing.

3. Leave sooner.

leave sooner

No one said you had to stay for the whole party. You can leave whenever you want. Luckily my husband is caring enough to listen to my needs and when I say I want to get going, we're out the door and on our way home. Leaving early is really the best of both worlds. You make it to the event, meet people, say hello, and then go home to a nice warm bed.

4. Listen.

listen

Just like breathing, listening will help you focus on something other than yourself and how much you'd rather be home alone. Everyone loves to talk, but not a lot like to listen, so be that person. Be the listener and really hear people out. Listening allows you to connect without really having to talk too much.

5. Make Yourself at Home.

make yourself at home

Do something that makes you feel like you're really at home. For most of the holidays we go to the same person's house, and they have a comfy couch. I make my way to the couch and relax for a little while. People may think it's weird but most will just join! Another option might be bringing your favorite drink or snack. Anything that will make you more comfortable.

This holiday season, remember, no one is perfect and you need to do what is best for you. Find a way to make it work for you and find the time to take care of yourself.

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