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Christmas for introverts and HSPs: How to survive “the most wonderful time of the year”

Christmas for introverts and hsps
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The holidays can be difficult for many reasons. But Christmas for introverts and HSPs can be especially tough.

Our quiet personalities aren’t exactly a perfect fit for raucous holiday gatherings.

You might have felt shame over struggling with the “most wonderful time of the year”.

But accepting the truth of who you are and taking good care of yourself over Christmas will make things better for everyone.

Here are 5 reasons Christmas for introverts and HSPs is hard. And how to deal with these hurdles for a more enjoyable time.

1. We generally dislike parties.

Large noisy gatherings are kryptonite to introverts and HSPs. The small talk and over-stimulation exhaust us. They make us want to go home and curl up with a book.

Large noisy gatherings are kryptonite to introverts and HSPs. The small talk and over-stimulation exhaust us. They make us want to go home and curl up with a book. Click To Tweet

It’s impossible to avoid parties altogether over Christmas holidays. However, you can choose the ones you simply can’t opt out of, and say no to the rest.

Remember to have an exit strategy. You want to be able to leave when you’re ready and not rely on someone else’s timeline for your ride home.

You don’t have to explain, but it’s okay to say why you’re declining an invitation.

In this time of increased online communication, I’ve started saying “I’m Zoomed out this week.” That’s a good enough reason for saying no to another digital hangout.

2. We hate to be rushed or tied to tight deadlines.

Rushing around buying gifts for every last person in your extended family can be exhausting.

Consider reducing your gift list or doing a secret Santa where you only buy for one person in a group.

Plan well in advance and do most of your shopping online. That helps you avoid the crowded stores at Christmas.

Embrace a minimalist approach to Christmas. This means placing more emphasis on non-material gifts, like time together or in worship.

And spending less time on gifts and other trappings of the season, like decorations and elaborate dinners.

3. We prefer deep connections to shallow conversation.

Christmas for introverts and HSPs

Choose to avoid big cocktail parties where small talk flows more freely than the alcohol that fuels it.

When you can, opt instead for dinner plans with friends or a quiet night in.

The unstructured time during Christmas gatherings can be stressful to introverts and HSPs.

The unstructured time during Christmas gatherings can be stressful to introverts and HSPs. Click To Tweet

Get out for a walk if you need some time and space alone from the crowd.

Playing board games or offering to help clean up, both feed the introvert and HSPs need for purpose. It structures our time in a way that feels good to us.

4. We need down time, even a nap, to feel refreshed.

Creating white space in your calendar is a form of minimalism that speaks to your soul.

Be kind to yourself and leave lots of room in your Christmas schedule for time alone. You’ll need rest and rejuvenation before the next social event to avoid burning out.

Tell the truth about yourself without shame. A frenzy of activity might work for some, but it can be soul-crushing and health threatening for you.

Refuse to abandon yourself to the demands of the Christmas season. You can take care of your own needs while also taking care of others.

Don't let anyone (especially yourself) guilt you into taking on more than you can comfortably chew. Know your limits and put boundaries in place to protect them. Click To Tweet

Don’t let anyone (especially yourself) guilt you into taking on more than you can comfortably chew. Know your limits and put boundaries in place to protect them.

5. We’re more sensitive to toxic families.

This one is most applicable to HSPs who are finely attuned to others’ emotions. But we all suffer from the effects of toxic families, especially at Christmas time.

You can choose to exclude toxic family members from your gatherings. Or you can decide not to attend events where conflict will be high.

You can also prepare in advance by telling the toxic person what you will and will not tolerate. And what you plan to do if they cross your boundary.

For instance, you might say you’ll leave the room if they insult you or otherwise harm you verbally.

If you’re struggling with toxic family members, you will benefit from my free guide that walks you through four steps to liberate yourself. You can grab it by entering your email below.

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