This is how introverts can protect their mental health during the holiday season

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — Christmas is approaching, the occasion that brings joy and happiness to the hearts of almost everyone.

However, some introverts may consider the Gregorian calendar an unfavorable period for them.

For an introverted person, spending a lot of social, energetic time can cause a sensory overload.

Our culture usually values ​​extroversion over introversion, which is especially prevalent during the holiday season.

During the holidays, “there’s a lot of focus on the social aspect of gathering,” said Vivian Zayas, a professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Psychology at Cornell University in New York State.

This fact does not mean that introverts hate people.

They tend to be happier with themselves, and feel better after spending some time alone, noted Dr. Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist, in 1921.

Introverts can gravitate toward more thoughtful, solitary activities and are often seen as reserved or emotional.

Many introverts like to socialize, but they need a break after engaging in big activities.

On the other hand, extroverts are more enthusiastic and sociable, and are energized by interactions with others.

Most people combine both types, but one trait tends to be more dominant than the other.

During this season, people may focus more on their “obligations,” what to do and how to behave, according to Zayas.

Zayas added that attending many events can be stressful from a psychological point of view, but thinking about participating in them or not may cause feelings of guilt.

However, it is essential to know that even during this festive season, your time is still yours to spend as you see fit.

Even if some people are disappointed by your absence, that’s okay.

Here’s how to find some time for yourself and set boundaries without people thinking you’re avoiding them.

Take breaks

If you like to attend every gathering your loved one holds, but you want to fit in better, try to spend some time to yourself during those events.

Busy yourself

Doing the dishes or tidying up the house might seem like chores during the average week, but these activities can be a fun respite during holiday gatherings.

Count your steps

It can be great to make everyone happy by attending every party you’re invited to, but sometimes you can’t do everything, so be selective about your social calendar.

You might visit family you don’t see much during the year, for example.

Go to parties alone

For some people, making the most of vacation time is by spending even the most ordinary moments with family, like driving in the car together to the family farm for the Christmas party.

However, getting to the party venue on your own is a small change that can make a big difference in your social energy.

I bring a meal that I prepared

Small talk can be a challenge for introverts. If the host allows, bringing a meal you’ve bought or prepared can be a natural conversation starter, the kind you’ll be prepared for.

leave early

Holiday gatherings often have a start date with no set end. You don’t have to stay until the party is over in the wee hours though.

Show up, socialize with the host and a few other people, help with some clean-up, and leave!

If you’re concerned about how guests might feel when you leave early, letting the host know ahead of time can reduce the embarrassment and pressure you might feel if you told them during the party.

Change the way you shop for the holidays

Gift shopping in the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle can often be stressful.

To conserve energy, shop online if you can, or try to go out at times when fewer people may be out, such as weekend mornings or weekday afternoons.

Attention to your needs can help you enjoy the holidays in feel-good ways, and be more present and happier at the events you choose to participate in.

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