Holiday Stress as an Introvert

The holidays are here and with them is a host of holiday cheer, people, activity, busyness, crowds, oh my! Holiday stress for introverts is a real issue. The demands of the season have you stepping out of your comfort zone on a consistent basis and filling your schedule fuller with people and activity than you would choose to spread over the entire year! It’s ok. Start breathing. You will make it through the season and have some special memories to recall once the shock wears off, I promise. Until then, I thought it might be helpful to give you five things that might be helpful for introverts to know heading into the holiday stress and celebration. The stress of holidays might have you feeling spread thin. Let’s get to the tips and get you some effective self care as well!

This Season Keep Your Eyes and Heart Open for Unexpected Ways that God will Reveal to you the hope of Christmas

Karla’s Holiday Stress As An Introvert

Karla is an introvert, and tonight is the annual community Christmas party. She doesn’t mind going to a party, but really prefers that it be a smaller party where people don’t just have to walk around talking to strangers. That feels incredibly uncomfortable, especially when she doesn’t really want to share things or even know things about other people’s lives. And she usually gets stuck talking to the person who plays 20 questions and makes her cringe with their nosey questions.

On the flip side, she may also get stuck talking to the person who decides to tell her their life story and it never ends. She would never think of sharing some of the personal details they rattle off so easily. If she is lucky, she can share a few smiles, busy herself with helping someone do something, or take some time getting her food. She can make a short appearance and then move on, unless of course they have a program of activities or worse yet, a game! Oh my, the games where they make people look dumb and crazy. Why would people choose to play those…for fun?! It’s torture.

As she thinks about the party, she begins to feel a bit nauseous. Perhaps she is getting ill. It might not be a bad idea to just stay home and get some rest. If she isn’t sick already, she’d probably catch something at that party. The more she thinks about it, the more she realizes that her best bet is to probably cuddle up in a blanket, read a good book, and get some rest so she is ready to go tomorrow.

Tips to Help an Introvert Enjoy the Holidays

Not everyone thrives on the hustle and bustle and excitement of the season. And not everyone anticipates the next best party or fun game. That’s ok! Holidays don’t have to be a hardship on those who are introverts. Knowing a few tips for the holidays can help introverts enjoy the holiday season too. If you find that you are introvert in whole or part, you might find that these tips help make your holiday season feel more manageable and enjoyable.

  • Know your schedule If you know you need down time to refuel after being with people, don’t schedule events back to back. Allow yourself some time to refresh and refuel before you put yourself back in a situation that can be stressful.
  • Know your limits If you know that being with people drains you, make your appearances short and meaningful. Pick those events that mean the most and allow you to have positive holiday memories as well.
  • Know your crowd If you know that a situation will call for dealing with difficult people, mentally prepare yourself beforehand, not by becoming more anxious, but by having a plan for how you might handle these difficult moments with integrity and confidence.
  • Know yourself If you know that reading a book or taking a hot bath are great stress relievers for you, plan some extra time for these things during the stressful holiday seasons. Choose a couple of those simple little joys that can infuse some stress relief and boost your mood.
  • Know that this too shall pass If the holidays are stressful and draining for you, just give yourself lots of grace. This season will pass, and you will have the routine back very soon. Give yourself permission to not enjoy what others might, and freedom to feel what you may…no guilt.

Choosing to be alone isn't a problem. It can make you smile

Family Fun and Holiday Stress for Introverts

And as you might guess, the above tips can work beautifully to help you take care of what you need heading into the holidays. They can help you establish some good boundaries and limits for finding health and wellness in the busy season. When you acknowledge what you need, follow through with these tips, you just mind find that you can be more effective as a parent during this busy season too. And this in turn can help boost the whole family’s fun during the holidays!

You see, many parents feel that taking care of themselves in selfish. Truth be known, it’s not selfish, it’s necessary. A worn out parent can’t easily exercise patience, communicate empathy, or model flexibility and calm. You can set yourself up for success and being more effective if you take an extra minute and figure out what you need to do to eleviate some stress and emphasize the peace and joy of the season.

With the combination of personalities in your family, it is likely that everyone might have a different idea of what’s fun, special, or necessary during the holiday. Chances are good there are other introverts in your family that might need to know that holidays don’t have to be draining and overwhelming!

When Children Are Introverts (or Appear To Be)

Remember that whether you are an introvert or not, you may have children who are. Take time to understand what they may need during the holiday season. Understanding their personality, emotional needs, and how they approach the holidays can help you set up a holiday plan that doesn’t exhaust them, but keeps things manageable, fun, and memorable.

Sometimes, due to sensory or mental health issues (which can lead to easy overload or withdrawing), children can exhibit similarities to an introvert, which can seem confusing, if you think by nature they tend toward more extroverted traits. So take special care in understanding how your child’s body budget (whether their systems are operating in the “red” and overwhelmed or if they have a good bank of resources) and unique wiring (whether a technical diagnosis or not) may be factoring into their preferences. This will help you establish a better plan for helping them get through all the busyness, activities, and possible routine changes that can be stressful for them.

child struggling with sensory overload as children play nearby

Emotionally Intense, Highly Sensitive, or Introverted?

It can be tricky to figure out if a child who is uniquely wired or has a specific diagnosis such as anxiety, depression, or a mood disorder is indeed introverted or not. Why? Because the ways children may be coping with being highly sensitive or emotionally intense can mirror introversion. They may benefit from you understanding their unique wiring, emotional needs, and sensory processing needs so that you can better support their special needs during the busy holiday season.

When a parent is not introverted, it can be a challenge to truly grasp what the child may be feeling, seeing, hearing, experiencing, or overwhelmed by. In this case, it may take some extra work to get the guidance and direction you need to work effectively with them. If you are an introvert yourself, these needs may be easier to understand. However, your challenge may come in being more private, handling things internally, and struggling to speak up to communicate your child’s issues or your needs.

Many introverts are challenged by trying to do it on their own, for fear of having others judge if they are doing it right. Please know…this is a difficult journey, and even the very best of parents, doing it all “right” would have great difficulty navigating the unpredictable course. Give yourself permission to learn, share what you learn, and have others support your journey as you are comfortable.

A Helpful Resource to Understand Your Child’s Needs

Looking for something that can help you get a clearer grasp of what your child might need. Maybe you need to understand some of their struggles or challenges better. Maybe you need to know more about their mental health or sensory issues. Maybe you need some practical tips on how to work well with them in light of these needs. Maybe you don’t know the “right” way to talk about your child’s issues or needs with others. Maybe you are afraid that others will challenge your ideas or approaches. And maybe you just don’t know if you can trust others with information about your child’s issues. I get it. I hear that a lot from parents.

Here’s a great resource I’d love to share with you. The Behind the Behaviors: Understanding A Uniquely Wired Child guide can be a useful tool in putting together the pieces of your child’s wiring and needs. This 14-page guide can help you gain clarity into what you might be experiencing with your child and offer some practical tips to navigate the issues that arise in a number of different settings.

guide to understanding challenging behavior and what a child who is highly sensitive, emotionally intense, or challening may need

Additionally, this time of year tends to increase the chances of being in group settings where others, whether friends, family, or community may need to understand your child better. So not only does this guide bring you greater clarity, it can also shine a light for others to start understanding as well. This is a quick guide to help others get a glimpse into what your child is experiencing, what he/she may need, and how they can be influential in offering support and understanding to your child and family.

Get your complimentary copy today. This just might be the game-changer that you and your child need to be better understood this holiday season! And if you are experiencing holiday stress as an introvert, this guide can help you prepare yourself and others for those events you are together and need to have others on the same page, offering understanding, and helping the holidays be memorable and as smooth as possible.


  1. Embrace Your Introversion During the Holidays: Recognize that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed by the busy holiday season, and remember, you’re not alone in these feelings.
  2. Practical Tips for Holiday Self-Care: Discover five valuable strategies (things you’ll want to “know”) specifically for introverts to navigate holiday events and social gatherings with confidence and ease.
  3. Understanding and Respecting Personal Limits: Learn the importance of knowing and respecting your own boundaries, ensuring holiday experiences are enjoyable rather than draining.
  4. Creating Joyful Holiday Memories for Introverted Families: Explore ways to make the holiday season enjoyable for the whole family, especially for introverted members, by recognizing and catering to different personality needs.
  5. Supporting Introverted Children: Gain insights into identifying and nurturing the needs of introverted or sensitive children during the festive season, ensuring they have a memorable and stress-free holiday.
  6. Recognizing Emotional Intensity in Children: Understand the unique challenges faced by emotionally intense or highly sensitive children during the holidays, and how to support them effectively.
  7. Navigating Holiday Stress with Grace: Embrace the holiday season with a positive mindset, knowing that this time, though potentially challenging, is temporary and manageable with the right approach and self-awareness.

Here’s to wishing you a great holiday season! Now go find that cozy blanket and good book…and pin this article for the next time you need a pep talk for the holidays!

Let’s Do This!

P.S. If you’re in search of more inspiration to increase your joy factor this holiday season, you might enjoy the article I came across this morning, Introverts and Holidays: 3 Ways to Up Your Joy. Happy Holidays!

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