Introverts’ Holiday Survival Toolbox
Holiday Seasons are supposed to be joyful and fun-loving! For some, it could be stressful and nostalgic as well.
For introverts, in particular, we could feel the pressure to socialised and are generally expected to be chatty, cheerful, and welcoming whoever comes our way with open arms.
Below I’ve summarised some of my collection of tools over the years that I find helpful in soothing the stress over the holiday seasons:
When you feel like hibernating for the next two weeks:
If proper rest for your mind and body is indeed long overdue, then why not?
Because with a low energy level, whatever you do and whoever you meet cannot get the best out of you anyway.
But if you need some super-quick energy boost, breathwork is my go-to!
- Breath of Fire: Also called Kapalabhati, this is a fast-paced navel breathing method to pump oxygen quickly into the body. Your mind will become clear and alert in MINUTES. Much easier than doing a headstand!
- Random Dance: Dancing is a sure-fire method to overcome your couch-potato tendency. Go to Youtube or Spotify, choose your favourite dance music, press “PLAY” and stand up to just let loose your bones and muscles! And once you start, you’d know your body actually WANTS you to move! Also when you dance, it drives away the coldness in your cells, and in your heart. Shake!
- Alternatively, smelling a lemon (or essential oil) could also be a quick pick-me-up trick when you feel drowsy.
When you feel overwhelmed by the hustles, the expectations, and generally the glare of a million tiny LED white lights and the crowds:
Overstimulation is a major stress trigger for introverts and highly sensitive people. Mindfulness is what is called for in situations like this.
- Long Deep Breaths: Close your eyes, breathing in and count to 10; then hold your breath for 10, and slowly breathing out while counting to 10. Do this a couple of times to slow your nervous system down.
- Kneel Down and Wrap Yourself Like a Bun: This is like a first-aid pose if you are feeling dizzy because of the lights or feeling breathless in a stuffy shopping mall full of people. This quick pose helps you grounded yourself, feel protected, and catch up with your breath.
When you are out of wit on how to say NO to an invitation:
This hilarious and witty guide from girlboss.com can offer you many ideas – precisely 35 ways to say NO to invitations and to protect your boundaries neatly. Pretty daring if I’m using these next time but you get the point!
Also when you are contemplating the” to go, or not go” decision to an event, here are some quick questions to guide you through:
- Do I genuinely care about the people who are hosting it, or whom I’m going to meet?
- Is my presence important to those I care about?
- Would I be missing any benefits (like insider tips?) if I don’t go?
- Is it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity if I miss it?
When you feel socially awkward:
- Be the host: Yes you read that right – Because when you are feeling socially awkward, it’s a sign that you are too self-conscious: that you worry about how other people perceive you, that you might be doing something wrong and others will judge you. When you turn yourself into a HOST, for example, volunteer to help out in an event, you turn your focus to serve, to be helpful, to get things done. You’d be too busy to welcome the guests that you’d naturally become magnetic and amiable, and forget about worrying how people see you. A magic trick that works on everyone who comes to me to overcome their social awkwardness!
- Ask Questions To Get People Tell Their Stories: In social situations, being interested is more gravitating than being interesting, especially in our world today where a cell phone is more attention captivating than a real human being standing in front of you. So use your gift of attentive listening by asking questions about their lives, like talking about travelling, food, movies, ask them to share a fun experience and get them to talk about their dreams, their goals and vision for the coming year ahead. When you give them the spotlight first, the conversation flows with ease subsequently.
- EFT (Tapping): A quick tapping is always helpful to ease the tension and nervousness you might be having. As a Traditional Chinese Medicine Wellness Practitioner, tapping takes meridian works to the next level and there is an EFT solution for seemingly everything when you google!
- Power Pose: You’ve probably done this before job interviews, and you can, of course, apply this before you enter a room full of people.
When you want to leave a party early in a polite way:
- The Early Morning Excuse: Everyone understands that if you are having an early morning appointment, you better go to bed early the night before. So this is a valid and widely-accepted way to excuse your early leave.
- The Bathroom Break: When it’s hectic outside, the bathroom could be a “breathing space” for introverts to calm down. Then when you are stepping out of the bathroom, grab your coat and purse, walk up to the host to thank them for a lovely time, and head home. Remember that a party is supposed to be fun, not suffocating. So nothing wrong if you leave early when it doesn’t feel fun anymore.
When you feel loneliness and emptiness are the most available “buddies” around during holiday seasons:
This rings true especially when you are far from home, or your loved ones. Or, you could feel the emotional distance between you and that room full of people. You know this is just one way you see life – a perception you choose to adopt, or not. You can choose to embrace the Oneness we are and feel how connected with are with every living beings on earth.
- Mantra Meditation: One of the reasons that we feel separate and isolated is that our heart is closed like you are hanging a “We’re Closed” signage in your energy field that you keep people at a distance. Sp a good place to start, is to bless everybody, including yourself through a meditative experience that connects you with the air, that is shared with all living beings on earth. Read here if you want to know what the mantra means.
- Start Giving: It’s scientifically proven that helping others can bring you more happiness. There are people who don’t even have shelters and enough food in this cold weather. So just go outside to make your impact, whether in the form of buying suspected coffee or hot chocolate, distributing clothes to the homeless, or volunteering to perform magic tricks in elderly care to cheer them up. The more warmth you share, the more you have to share 🙂
- Date yourself: Get cosy, take a bubble bath, and indulge yourself in doing what you really like but seldom have the time and personal space to do so! Dance, sing, read, shout, watch your favourite movies, get a massage or spa, play the guitar, visit a museum, get on a motorcycle ride (while sober!)…Get serious about how to make yourself happy and plan a date accordingly! Do what sparks a light in you!
- Make Handicraft: Or anything to get your hands busy, like cooking, decorating your home, doing leatherwork, making candles, sewing etc. These activities cultivate mindfulness and are excellent at getting you grounded, and a greater sense of connectedness with the world around us.
When you begin to feel guilty about your splurges on holiday spending:
It’s not too late to remind yourself that how you spend your money represents what you VOTE for!
So are you investing in your health, beauty, time saved and personal growth?
Are you supporting local, small and impact-making businesses?
Are you choosing environmental-friendly options in your buying?
As long as you are spending CONCIOIUSLY, no need to feel guilty about it!
If not, remind yourself to always use your money to vote for what worth your TRUST next time! Self-blaming is soooo un-productive!
I’ve talked about this idea on money & trust in an older post here that you might be interested.
When you want to cancel a meetup in the last minute:
It can feel like a constant struggle for introverts to choose between Solitude VS Socialising. However, unless you really have some emergencies or feeling unwell, it’s not a nice practice to always cancel plans in the last minute. The reason you feel the urge to do so was, you didn’t want to go to this event in the first place but you agreed because you thought you SHOULD.
So scroll up to re-read “When you are out of wit on how to say NO to an invitation” above and use the 4 guiding questions to help you decide if you should have said yes or no in the first place.
When you feel excited to make big plans for 2020:
- Desire Map Planner 2020: I’m a big planner person and Danielle Laporte ‘s Desire Map Planner is one of my favourites that help you make goals that are aligned with your core desired feelings.
- Creative Visualisation: This forest journey visualisation I’ve created is best for moments like this to help you open up to your subconscious, so that you can truly make plans that connect with your heart’s desires.
- Confidence Upleveling: Confidence are like muscles; if they are not trained, they shrink and become your biggest hurdles to break free from life! Apply to work with me now – because if not now, when?