Introvert Easy Self-Care to Stress Less Over Holidays

Holidays: it’s one of the times of every year when an introvert often feels more drained, in particular if without a plan or some useful tips.Between the last minute shopping, the gift-wrapping, the planning and the cooking, the week of Christmas can get insanely stressful.

Between the last minute shopping, the gift-wrapping, the planning and the cooking, the week of Christmas can get insanely stressful.

The holidays are supposed to be a joyous time for families.

Here are some tips to help you stress less during Christmas week and enjoy the holiday to the fullest.

And so you can cheerfully say: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Introvert Easy Self-Care to Stress Less Over Holidays

• Keep meals as simple as possible.small-meal-planning

Using a meal plan and preparing ingredients ahead of time can help you keep meals healthy with less stress. But if things are getting too hectic to cook, remember that tossing a frozen pizza in the oven one night, or having leftovers, won’t cause irreparable harm.

I have been known to use the holidays as an excuse for more “date nights.” It works for both of us!

• Keep plenty of healthy snacks on hand.

If you have kids, this will help eliminate worries about them getting the nutrition they need each day. My daughter-in-law always has traditional grab-and-go options available to include seedless grapes, baby carrots, trail mix, and crackers.The operative word is healthy.

The operative word is healthy.

• Enlist some help from others.

If you have teens, ask them to take over cooking duties from time to time, and give younger kids step-by-step instructions for making one dish while you work on another. I’ve noticed with my granddaughters that even preschoolers can be surprisingly helpful – ask them to fetch ingredients and help with the measuring. A real challenge is

If you have teens, ask them to take over cooking duties from time to time, and give younger kids step-by-step instructions for making one dish while you work on another. I’ve noticed with my granddaughters that even preschoolers can be surprisingly helpful – ask them to fetch ingredients and help with the measuring.

A real challenge can be getting help from the husband! But being married for as long as we have been, this is something of the past.introvert-ask-for-help

Anyone have a tip or two for that person? Other than waiting 30 to 40 years?

I do: Years ago, after one holiday meal we celebrated at our home with friends, I asked my husband if he could take over in the kitchen
clean-up. All these years later, now he does this every night.

• Keep your to-do list doable.

It’s far too easy to overscheduled around Christmastime. Planning ahead is key. And we introverts are naturals with this.

Sit down and make a list of everything that needs to be done by the 25th before it gets here, and then spread it out. That way you won’t be rushing around at the last minute.

January-2nd-World-Introvert-Day• Make time for yourself.

Schedule some time for exercise each day, and be sure you have at least a half hour or so just to relax in the evening.

By making sure your needs get met, you’ll be better able to attend to everyone else’s.

Introverts without self-care during the holidays might feel like they are dragging a safe through the sand.

And be certain you have on your calendar, January 2nd, Introvert Day!


• Be prepared for the unexpected.introvert-holiday-checklist

Not everything will go as planned, so it’s important to be flexible.

Simple measures such as tidying up a guest room and keeping extra food on hand for unexpected guests can save you some worries.

And most of all, remember you don’t have to be a superhero. Someone in one of my workshops remarked to me, “Remember the memories you’ll have with your family even though you are flying across country to be with them, will outlive any memories of your traveling there.”

The best memories you’ll create at Christmas are the ones you truly enjoy. So plan to enjoy being with your family and friends in ways that work for the introvert in you during the holidays.

Originally posted December 20, 2012, as Stress Less During Christmas Week

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  1. That’s what it is Susan, freeing yourself to be able to ENJOY the present MOMENTS because that is what is about. Thanks!

  2. Jeannette Paladino

    Pat — very good advice which I wish I followed this holiday season. Too much entertaining and too many commitments. I’ve already decided what I’m eliminating next year.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…Are You Guilty of Using LinkedIn’s Top 10 Overused BuzzWords?My Profile

  3. Awesome advise. It’s not easy to always follow, but it certainly helps reduce the anxiety of trying to be perfect at Holiday time. I made a conscience decisions to do many of these things and it has really helped me enjoy my family and be in the present moment. 🙂
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Twas The Night Before Christmas: Story/PoemMy Profile

  4. Jeanette, sounds like a New Years resolution in the making! Thanks.

  5. Martin Casper says

    Thanks Patricia…Isn’t it sad that the most beautiful time of the year can be the most stressful as well? Where have we gone? What happened to family get togethers, games, popcorn, fresh baked cookies and going door to door to sing Christmas carols. Sad…
    I agree with your thoughts…keeping it simple is a very smart way to keep the stress meter from getting pegged. Have a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year…

  6. I cannot think of a single holiday in my life where I have more memories of family and love than this time of year. So delighted you also find that keeping it simple can help you have the BEST of a holiday. Thanks.

  7. I agree. It can be difficult to do, but a list of helpful tips like this really helps. 🙂
    Geek Girl recently posted…Author Interview – Hannah FieldingMy Profile

  8. Thanks Geek Girl. I think we can all use a helpful tip here and there.

  9. FANTASTIC compilation of ideas. I particularly like “enlisting the help of others.” I hope that parents will not feel sorry for their kids after they’ve just finished turning in projects and taking tests. Vacation time is a great time to do chores and help out parents! Also like keeping snacks on hand. Trail mix is a favorite at our house. Fruit too! Enjoy your holidays Patricia. I look forward to reading your excellent blogs in 2013!
    Keyuri Joshi recently posted…Headline News Appearance: Strategies to Help Kids Cope with Newtown TragedyMy Profile

  10. Keyuri, thank you for your comments – coming from a parenting authority like yourself, that means a lot. Merry Christmas!

  11. I think these are great tips for everyone going through a busy time. We all go through periods when life gets away from us. It is so important to ask for help. I love that you got your husband to clean the kitchen. When I first moved in with my husband, he would never help clean. He finally asked me how he was supposed to help once I commented that I was doing all the work. I made him clean the bathroom and that is the one thing that he does to this day. I’ll take it!
    Erica recently posted…5 Ways Herbs Can Heal Your BodyMy Profile

  12. Great suggestions that apply to all of us. To stress ourselves too much is a bad idea. Already when I was young and living in Spain I decided that I was not going to be socializing every evening, It’s too much and I did not enjoy it when I was over doing it.
    catarina.alexon recently posted…Holiday Reading: Will JFK & Jackie always be icons?My Profile

  13. Christmas can be a stressful and high energy time, not great for us introverts!

    I agree that one should allow room for flexibility. Our plans will not always run to schedule – this is life. Letting go is something I am still learning. It is an ongoing process.
    Phoenicia recently posted…Make 2016 the year you set clear goals!My Profile

  14. Hi, thanks for sharing a very informative and helpful post. This is very timely since my friend needs some great advice like this one for his son. I’ll be sharing this with her. Great read.
    sherill recently posted…Top 10 Movies of 2015My Profile

  15. Jacqueline Gum

    Great suggestions… keeping it simple the simplest, of course. I’m finding that to be true for most areas of my life these days… Happy New Year my friend. Wishing all things good for you in this coming year:)
    Jacqueline Gum recently posted…A Break For Where’s The JusticeMy Profile

  16. Sabrina Quairoli

    Great tips for a stress free holiday. I like to make meals in my Slow cooker so if I get busy, I know I have a meal for dinner. 🙂

  17. Beth Niebuhr

    Flexibility: the key to stress management. It’s too bad that the more stressed we get, the less flexible we seem to be. Find something to laugh about. Laughter is a great stress buster.
    Beth Niebuhr recently posted…Do You Hate Marketing?My Profile

  18. As for me the holidays are less stressful.
    I do not celebrate with co-workers at a holiday party, etc., so I am not forced to be in a crowd.
    As for my Christmas, it is spent with my relatives, so I know them already. I will admit, when I have a nephew or niece bring their date, or new wife or husband, my anxiety does kick in.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

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