An introvert’s guide to surviving the silly season

Emotional hygiene maketh maximal merriment.

Dating back to the Persian Empire through to Freud, psychosomatic ills — those caused by the mind — are literally as old as time.

This week, I suffered a thoroughly modern bout of this. I put a weeping sty in my right eye, coupled with constant headaches, back pain and arm acne (!) down to my stressful schedule. Work meetings, a Christmas party, and endless social catch ups frayed my socially anxious nerves to the point where my body dissembled.

I know, ’tis the season to be jolly, but too much revelry does not a happy introvert make. So, here’s a survival guide to those who would rather thumb a book than do just about anything else.

1. No non-mandatory arrangements. I’m serious. You will need as much down time as possible after a particularly trying work Christmas lunch where enjoying the bottomless wine policy, while tempting as a conversational crutch, is a no-no.

2. Have pre-prepared excuses to leave professional shindigs early. Unfortunately, staying to the end applies as much to work partays as it does to the ol’ 9–5. To avoid having to linger until the Sauv Blanc is warm, conjure a solid reason to depart. I’m tired certainly won’t cut it. Alternatively, if everyone but you is getting their drunk dance on, feel free to shimmy your way to the door and tango into the night.

3. Self-care may be a buzzword but that shit is real(ly necessary). Indulge in whatever you find restful. Whether it’s a tree-filled amble or a binge watching sesh, for us introverts, recharging solo is a must. My pick is a candlelit massage. Oh, the silent serenity.

4. Once you emerge from your intro-cocoon, surround yourself with family or good friends for non-energy-leeching human time. Soak up all that big (as opposed to small) talk, because it’s surprisingly restorative. We are still social beings, after all.

5. Sounds self-evident, but it’s never been more important to eat healthy and hydrate as much as possible. Outside-in, like.

Check off steps one through five, and you might just make it. That is, until New Year’s >:O