Guest Posts

Surviving the holidays: An introvert’s survival guide {Guest Post by Johnzelle}

Friends, I am pleased to be hosting my first guest blog post by the awesome Johnzelle of Perfectly Imperfectly. Johnzelle is an encouraging force in the blogging community and a wonderful human being. If you enjoy this post, I highly suggest visiting his blog for more relatable content.

Without further adieu, take it away Johnzelle!


Before I begin, I’ve got to thank Tiara for agreeing to collaborate on both of our blogs today. I’m honored to be her very first guest blogger! You can check out her post about being an asocial social worker over on my blog, Perfectly Imperfect.

My take on the holidays

I have a love/hate relationship with the holidays; more specifically, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. What do I love about all of these holidays? Food and paid time off.

Given my personality traits of being introverted, frugal, and minimal, my list of dislikes is far more extensive, so I’ll spare you the details.

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Holiday anxiety is real, therefore my goal today is to help my fellow anxious and/or introverted peeps out there survive the holidays without becoming too overwhelmed.

The survival guide
1. Avoid malls… forever

The holiday shopping frenzies are insane. Seriously, where did all these people come from!? If you’re socially anxious or become overwhelmed easily, I highly recommend online shopping.
2. It’s ok to retreat from your loved ones from time-to-time

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I spent Thanksgiving in North Carolina with my mother, brother, grandma, and my wife. While I love my family, I prefer them in travel-size portions. They’ve come to know and accept that I’ll go quiet after a while; for example, I took like 3 naps on Thanksgiving Day. Which brings me to my next point.
3. Be mindful of your lodging

When I visit my family in North Carolina, I always stay at a hotel or Air BNB. Again, this doesn’t mean I hate my family; rather, I’m just an introvert who needs to have a place to retreat after the holiday chaos.
4. Be mindful of your transportation

My wife and I plan to travel to NYC for a Christmas getaway. We initially planned to drive due to the hassle and cost of taking a train. More recently, we considered NYC holiday traffic, the expense of tolls, and parking, then decided to take a budget bus instead. With my anxiety, driving in Manhattan could have triggered a panic attack easily. Glad that we planned ahead!
5. Be selective with your commitments

When you’re around friends, family, and colleagues this time of year, it’s easy to get swept into the holiday whirlwind. Remember: holiday events are all voluntary. You get to choose what you do and don’t do. Be mindful of self-care and don’t stretch yourself too thin. Trust me, an emotional breakdown isn’t worth staying for that office party if you’ve already had an overwhelming week.

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6. Have an ally

You likely will need to venture out and make some holiday appearances. Good for you! It helps to have an ally/friend to either accompany you as a sidekick or to text as you suffer through attend various functions. Introverts get a lot of crap for retreating to their phone during social events but sometimes the sarcastic banter with an ally is what keeps them sane. Fall back!
7. It’s ok to avoid people that you don’t like

Everyone has those family members, in-laws, or peers that they rather not be around for too long. Unfortunately, there’s some social expectation to still interact with those people from time-to-time for the sake of the holiday season. Ugh! My advice: focus on being cordial, be mindful of your resting bitch face, and plan some exit strategies.
8. Exercise

Exercise is magic for the anxious. It burns off some of that nervous energy so that your mind has less fuel to let the holidays beat you down. So run, walk, yoga, swim, or do whatever it takes to keep yourself balanced. Exercising will also offset that second slice of cheesecake you just cut. I see you!
Conclusion

I hope that this little list of survival tips has given you some ideas, or at the very least, has entertained you. You’ve got this! Let’s survive the holidays together. Who knows? We may even enjoy ourselves…

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I would like to thank Johnzelle for his creativity and friendship. You can also find him on Twitter at @perfimperfect92.

Please visit his blog for the guest post I wrote and tell me what you think!

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