Here we go, many of us, into the belly of the holiday beast. As I write this, people are sitting in Friday-before-Christmas rush hour traffic. There’s no turning back now.

Introverts’ stamina will be sorely tested in the next 10 days. Hours in the car with family. Large boisterous family gatherings. Small, tense family dinners. Interact, interact, interact. And ho ho ho, while you’re at it.

Some final thoughts for your happy holiday season.

  • Managing our energy is Job 1 for introverts. Pay attention and catch yourself before you get crabby. Take a walk. Take a whiz. Take a night off. Take whatever you need to let all those jangling neurons settle down.
  • Use short breaks if you can’t get long ones. As Jimbo in the comic strip "Rose Is Rose" knows, just taking out the garbage at night can provide a pause to contemplate the universe. Five stolen minutes here and there can be surprisingly helpful.
  • Use subterfuge to get away if necessary. Sometimes the goal is just to get the hell out for a while. You can explain the nuances of introversion later. It will give you something to talk about at dinner. But if you have to invent an errand or important (imaginary) phone call, nobody here will judge you.
  • Eat right, sleep well. I know, I know--easier said than done this time of year. Also, exercise. Very good for the head. So, you know, whatever, give it a shot… Walk the dog or rake leaves or something.
  • Remember the magic words: Not my problem, not my responsibility. Use them in your head, use them thoughtfully, but use them.

Wishing those who celebrate a Merry Christmas, and wishing us all a very Happy New Year.

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Did you ask Santa for my book? The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World is available at real and virtual bookstores, and for Nook and Kindle.

Photo by brillianthues via Flickr (Creative Commons).

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