It’s nice being around family on the holidays, but sometimes it can all become too much and your social battery (which allows you to socialize with others easily and happily) can be drained within as little as a few hours (and that can really ruin the holiday spirit). So here’s some tips on how to navigate all the get-togethers without losing your mind.
For my family, every Thanksgiving, and the whole month of December (aka “Christmas season”), brings family in from all over the country into one house—my house—for days at a time. Can you feel my excitement? Me neither, because even though I love my family, they can be a lot and my time alone is vital to being the energetic, happy Patience they love. So instead of being a tired grump during the whole holiday season, I prepare myself. I sit down by myself about two weeks before Thanksgiving and go through a process of spending as much time alone as possible. I do activities that are low stress and that I enjoy like reading or writing. I go to sleep early. I allow myself to rest to make up for the lack of rest I’m getting while my family is in town. It drastically changes how much time you can function before needing to “recharge” your social battery.
Find A “Safe Spot”
It is (and I cannot stress this enough) essential to build/find yourself a space in your house that allows you to get away from everyone else for a while to regain your energy. During all the festivities of family all over the house, it seems like I have nowhere to hide (not even my own room). I create two spaces, a physical space, like a bathroom or an unoccupied bedroom and a mental space, a place in my mind where I can focus on how I feel in the moment, take a quick couple breaths in and out then resume celebrating the holidays with my family. This prevents me from feeling frustrated, tired, or seeming like I’m in a sour mood because I can’t recharge.
Be Gentle With Yourself
It’s okay to feel drained during the holiday season. The biggest thing I’ve learned over the last couple years is to be not run myself dry when trying to be a part of a celebration. It’s okay to be tired, sometimes being thrown into a 24-hour party will do that to a person. So don’t be hard on yourself or think you’re ruining the mood when you want to go back to your own space and be alone. As an introvert, it’s common for us to need a little extra alone time than others. That’s okay.
The holidays throw us introverts for a loop. It’s hard to socialize for days at a time nonstop even when you’re drained but never fear, your guide is here. To all my introverts: Take care of yourselves this holiday season. To all my ambiverts/extroverts: Be patient with us this season, we’re trying.
Leave a “Love” emoji if this helped at all. Take care of yourself.
By Patience Hurston, Senior, Thornwood High School
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