How To Survive The Holidays As An Introvert

by Kahlia Meeuwsen, Lifestyle Columnist

Published in Lifestyle on 10th December, 2018

The holidays can be a stressful time for anyone, but they're especially rough on those of us who are worn down by social endeavors.

holiday introvert

However, there are ways to make the holidays a little bit easier. Here, we're going to discuss what it is about the holidays that makes them extra stressful, and what introverts can do to keep themselves from wearing down quite as quickly.

Continue on, pick up the tips that help you, and enjoy!

The Holidays Can Be Exhausting!

Whether you're introverted or not, the holidays are a time of a lot of intense stresses that can really drain our energy levels. They often include many of the difficult aspects that we can experience from time to time, just jam-packed into the span of about a month. However, you certainly can survive and we're here to provide some tips to help you do just that!

Holiday-Specific Introvert Stresses

There are a variety of things that can add to introvert stress around the holidays. Many of these things are exacerbated due to how close the winter holidays tend to be. It can often result in a much quicker wear-down than we might experience on a day-to-day basis normally.


Crowds can be a huge problem for introverts. It really adds onto the level of socialization, and sometimes can even become a bit anxiety inducing. At the very least, it can wear us down so quickly, so it's not a great idea to remain in them for any longer than you have to.

Unfortunately, they tend to be pretty common while getting to the holiday shopping. Especially if you're heading to a mall to try to get all or most of it done in one swoop. They can also be an issue for those who attend holiday parties over the season!

Holiday Shopping

There are more stressful points to holiday shopping aside from the crowds. In addition, there can be people who are getting into your space, salespeople who are being a bit too pushy for your liking, and the stress of having to go to multiple places when something you need isn't in stock.

holiday shopping

All of this can really cause the well of energy to begin to run very low. Depending on how many presents you buy, and how many people you have to shop for, you can end up spending hours over multiple trips to make sure everything is handled.

Lack Of Alone Time

Whether you have people staying in your home, or are staying with family during the holidays, there can be very little alone time. The house may be full of guests, sometimes there simply aren't enough bathrooms for everyone. It can be a pretty stressful experience for someone who enjoys their alone time.

This closeness with others can really be a draining experience, especially if you're in it for a week or longer during the holidays. The worst part is that this can start to wear you down before any actual holiday events take place, when even more people are likely to show up!

Difficult Family Members

While a lot of the time we do look forward to spending time with family, in some cases it can end up being more effort than it's worth. For some of us, it might just be one family member, while for others it can feel like the entire family is hard to be around for longer periods of time.

If one or more difficult family member is staying with you wherever you are, then it can really be a hard time to get through. In some cases, it may be worth considering a hotel if you can afford it!

They Can Be Overwhelming!

During the holiday season, there is just a lot going on at all times. Many of us have several things to focus on, including time off, gifts, finances, social stresses and a lot more. These kinds of issues can make anyone stressed, whether they are introverted or not.

While many enjoy the holidays, there's no doubt that they can be stressful and intense. Because of that, it's even more important that people have methods of coping, and that introverts have ways of allowing themselves to recharge a little bit when they need it.

So, How Is An Introvert To Survive?

The good news is, there are plenty of tips you can use to help with keeping your sanity when holiday socialization is draining you. Take a look, and use the ones that best apply to give you the small recharges we all need to keep pushing forward and enjoying the holidays.

Set Time Limits

If you decide beforehand when you're arriving to events and when you're leaving them, it can be a little easier to get through the time you're spending somewhere. It's also completely okay to give yourself permission to leave a little bit early if you need to reserve some of your energy.

If you're attending with family members, then talk beforehand and decide what the time frame will be. That way, you all have set expectations. This in itself can help you to feel a little more comfortable, knowing that the event won't go on forever, but instead will be ended at a time that ideally allows you to recharge a little in the evening.

Take Breaks

When you can, try to get some alone time. Even if it's just for a few minutes. Whether that's in your car, in the room you're staying in, or your bedroom, or by going out for a walk, it can really be good for your mindset to get a little time to yourself.

take breaks

Sometimes it can be hard to get away without others asking questions, but it's typically very worth the effort. Especially if you're feeling extremely drained and need to move away from the hustle and bustle to keep yourself sane.

Prepare Answers To Uncomfortable Questions

We all know those questions that you don't want to answer, but you know you'll here. Things like "how's the job hunt?" or "when are you going to get married?" The list really goes on and on, and there are different prodding questions that each of us simply don't want to deal with.

Coming up with answers beforehand can help you to avoid being put on the spot, and provide an answer that can shut down the nosy questioning before it can get too far. One such method that may be able to help you is known as "Gray rocking", and includes being as boring as possible, to avoid giving difficult family members something to be difficult about.

Balance Your Energy

Many of us have family members we are closer to, and family members who drain us more quickly. One way that you can help to maintain your social energy is to try to dole out your time according to how positive of a presence someone is in your life.

For those who are more negative and draining, try to stick to light pleasantries and keep conversations to a minimum. At the same time, it can help to maximize the energy spent around those who are positive influences. That way, you can keep yourself from wallowing in too much negativity.

Bring A Peaceful Activity

Bringing something peaceful along to do can help you to take a mental break from those around you. Something like a book, or a meditation you can engage in before starting your day can help greatly. Whatever it is that helps you to get a little extra mental energy is worth the effort.


For some, this might include going for a run in the morning. It's really about making sure that you can get what you need to stay sane.

Prepare Yourself Mentally

Taking a little time before a trip, visit or event, it can be helpful to prepare yourself a bit. Just the act of knowing that you're going into can allow you to guard yourself a bit against the stressors. It's like building mental energy up against the draining that can occur.

A daily meditation can help with building up your mental energy and centering yourself. You may also find that it may be helpful to give yourself some extra self care beforehand. When you're happier and more relaxed going into a situation, the longer it will take to drain your energy.

Say No When You Need To

Taking on too much can be a quick way to end up with a lot of stress. Because of that, it's important to make sure that you only take on what you can handle, and politely decline any other events or tasks that others may as you to take on.

While it can be hard to say no, sometimes it simply needs to happen in order to avoid a lot of extra stress. When we spread ourselves too thin, it can result in irritability, lack of sleep and other problems that simply aren't great for our health.

Keep An Escape Plan

When you need to leave, you need to leave. In some cases, it's simply because you're too worn down to stay at an event, while in others it may be due to a situation that has become toxic or problematic for you in some way.

Make a plan for yourself, or for your family if you're attending events together, that can allow you to leave if and when you need to. Naturally, this is a last case resort when you're really feeling spread thin, but it can be a very useful one for those who need to hit the stop button on an event to give themselves a break.

Shop Online

Shopping can be a huge stressor for many, so it's best to find ways to get it done in a way that can keep you from being overwhelmed. Starting relatively early and ordering gifts online can be a fantastic way to get this done, and thanks to technology it's easier than ever before.

shop online

When you shop online, you can do it from the safety of your home and take your time to look through all of the options and deals out there. That way, you can be relaxed and comfortable and even save some money while you select the best ways to get gifts for your loved ones.

Let Yourself Recharge

One option that not many people think about is giving yourself time after the holiday events to recharge before returning back to regular life. Taking a day or two before going back to work can allow you to enjoy gifts from the holidays, catch up on rest you may need and ultimately give yourself the care that can recharge you after a lot of socialization.

Depending on what you can fit into your schedule, this could be an early evening or a couple of days. It's entirely up to what you can do, and what you think you'll need.

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