6 Ways Introverts Can Survive the Holidays
Christmas is coming which means Introverts have some choices to make! We don't have to be extroverted to join the games, parties, and frolic, but we will have to make careful choices about how to use and reserve our energy to make the most out of spending time with family and loved ones.
Please join me in welcoming guest poster April Kidwell as she shares six ways to survive the Holidays. Share YOUR for tip for surviving the holidays in the comments for a chance for a $5 Starbucks gift card! Love, Kass
Introverts are unique creatures. We need space. Time to recharge. Simple alone time.
God created us this way.
On the other hand, God created us for relationships. A relationship with Him. A relationship with others. And even in those times when we might prefer to be on our own, we have a deep rooted need for other people.
Although these two sides of our personalities often conflict, God did not make a mistake. We simply learn to balance our need to be alone with our call to serve and love others. Our goal becomes one of obedience and not just preference.
This is especially true during the holidays. How do we cope?
Find balance between introversion and fellowship.
1. Have a Plan
Get started early. Add events and activities to your calendar as soon as you know about them. Prioritize what events and activities you will be able to include. Shop early and avoid the crowds. Send Christmas cards or presents before the rush. Include rest days, or buffer days, that allow you time to regroup. If you must be out and about with friends and family one day, schedule a quiet relaxing day immediately following.
2. Choose Wisely
What three activities must be included in your holiday celebrations?
Only three? That may seem like an impossible number. Either too many or too few. But focus on what is most important. Family? Church? Helping out those less fortunate? What brings you joy? What does this holiday season mean to you?
Perhaps for you and your family, Christmas eve service at your church is a highlight. Make that a priority. Or maybe it is Christmas morning breakfast with the grandparents. Or perhaps you enjoy caroling with a small group from your church. Include things that bring joy to your heart and help you celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.
Next, try to find a balance between things you “have-to-do” and things you “want-to-do.” If dinner with the in-laws is a “have-to-do” then make sure you schedule an evening of watching your favorite Christmas movies (or whatever your “want-to-do” is) soon after.
Find time to feed your need for solitude while sustaining relationships.
3. Avoid Comparison
If you’ve made your plan, chosen what aspects of the holiday are most important—or absolutely necessary as the case may be—and schedule time to recharge, then you have succeeded.
Don’t allow yourself to be swayed or bombarded by what the world tells you your Christmas should look like. Never mind about the house down the block with the perfect lights. Forget about the deluge of cooking shows extolling the ease of creating a delectable twelve course feast. Ignore the social media barrage of staged trees and impeccable mantels.
And most certainly, do not compare your schedule of subdued holiday parties and recovery days, to friends or family that thrive on the non-stop mayhem of the holidays.
4. Embrace the Challenge
Holidays are stressful. Whether is is strained familial relationships, arbitrary expectations we place on ourselves or others place on us, financial burdens, facing the holidays after the loss of a loved one, or other emotional baggage from past hurts.
Be prepared for the challenges. Accept your limitations. Run the race.
There is much to be done. God created us for this time, and through his strength we can endure.
5. Expect the Unexpected
Illness. Guests. A winter storm.
If you’ve planned ahead, made progress on all the things, and intentionally sought rest when you can…then you will be better able to cope when something goes wrong. Or when something goes right.
6. Seek Rest
Above all, remember that this is a season of hope. Seek comfort in God’s love. Spend time in His presence. And find time to be still.
God is fully aware of your predisposition toward introspection. He created you!
He knows many of us enjoy solitude. But He also wants us to seek relationship with Him and with others for Kingdom purposes. Find the balance.
April Kidwell writes romance for those waiting on God’s best. She is an aspiring author dividing her time between writing full-time, learning about the business of writing, and working as an intern for Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free Academy.
When not writing, she’s on the lookout for the most romantic spots and best eateries in the Pacific Northwest. A native Oregonian—with roots traceable to pre-statehood—her happy place is with her husband, kiddos and menagerie of pets on the High Desert.