Holiday stress affects everyone differently – in fact, some people don’t find Christmas stressful or anxiety-provoking at all! Others, such as introverts who aren’t used to the socializing and hubbub the holidays bring, may find Christmas challenging. These tips for people with introverted personality traits will help reduce Christmas stress and anxiety, and make the holidays fun…even for the quietest person in the family.
Before the tips, a quip:
“I have never found a companion so companionable as solitude.” ~ Henry David Thoreau.
As an introvert, solitude is one of my favorite companions. But as a wife, family member, friend, and colleague, I need to come out of my shell and socialize over the holiday season! If you’re like me and sometimes feel guilty for being an introvert, click Living Introverted: Learning To Embrace The Quiet Life Without Guilt – you might find it helpful. And, read on for a few tips for introverts at Christmas…
6 Ways to Reduce Christmas Stress and Anxiety for Introverts
Most introverts don’t enjoy being the center of attention, attending many Christmas parties, or celebrating every minute of the holiday season. In fact, many introverts feel self-conscious around other people, which makes the Christmas parties and social events of the holiday season overwhelming and tiring. These tips for introverts will help reduce stress at Christmas…
1. Pinpoint the cause of your holiday stress. Are you stressed or anxious because of external or internal factors? External causes could include holiday office parties, shopping, family dinners, or traveling. Internal causes may include high self-expectations, self-induced pressure to entertain, or unachievable standards for decorating your home. Be honest about why you feel stressed at Christmas. Once you figure out if your holiday stress is related to your introverted personality traits or other reasons, you’ll be better able to deal with it.
2. Volunteer to “work” the Christmas event. This is one of my favorite tips for introverts: some social events during the holiday season require helpers, such as people to bartend, show up as Santa Claus, replenish the appetizers. Introverts at Christmas parties may feel more comfortable if they’re focused on a task. “Working” an event can decrease feelings of being the center of attention, and can help introverts enjoy the holiday season (not just survive it!).
3. Find someone to connect with. Introverts won’t enjoy the holiday season if they’re surrounded by people they don’t “get” – or who don’t get them. To reduce Christmas stress and anxiety, try connecting with one or two like-minded people at parties or events. This can increase energy and comfort levels, and reduce feelings of self-consciousness.
4. Learn how to make conversation with strangers. A great tip for introverts is to be comfortable making small talk. Memorize two or three great conversation starters – this makes socializing at events over the holiday season easier (and possibly even enjoyable!).
5. Know your party limits. To reduce Christmas stress and anxiety, know when to say no! If you’re physically and mentally exhausted, decline invitations to holiday parties or holiday events by being honest. Most people – even if they’re extroverts – will understand if you just can’t face another Christmas party, especially if you say you’re finding the holiday season overwhelming.
6. Limit the time you spend socializing. Unless it’s a formal Christmas dinner, most social events over the holiday season don’t require guests to stay for the whole party. Introverts can survive Christmas parties by making an appearance, having a quick egg nog, and wishing the host or hostess Happy Holidays before escaping for the solitude of home.
For more tips for introverts, read Are Introverts Normal? Information About the Introvert’s Personality.
If you’re an introvert, how do you reduce Christmas stress and anxiety? I’d love to hear from you below!
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.