Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Survival Guide For Introverts

1. Find a quiet spot in your day, even if it is just for five minutes, and allow yourselves to just be…still, calm, centered. At least for five minutes. A true gift to yourself.

2. Tell everyone you’re going Christmas shopping, but instead indulge in an hour alone with a warm, soothing drink as your only company. No, it's not being selfish; you will have more energy and heart to deal with all your holiday demands if you take care of yourself! Trust us on this.

3. Give yourself some time this holiday—even just fifteen minutes—to do some writing or dream or make big plans for the coming year.

4. If your time is too frazzled to actually make progress on your manuscript, consider personal journaling or maybe even character journaling. Journaling your character's thoughts and feelings can be a great way to stay connected to your WIP without having to actually produce pages. In fact, one of my favorite writing exercises one year was this: Choose a character you’re currently working on and write his or her Christmas wish list.

5. Don’t forget ear plugs. They can be a lifesaver. Especially when the TV is blaring, the kids are playing too loudly, or the snow-blower is going down the street.

6. Don’t forget to plot—plot for a few hours solitude, plot for a quick escape, plot to get everyone to leave early. . .

7. Naps! Either a long luxurious two hour nap where you sleep hard enough to get bed head, or quick refreshing pick-me-up of a 20 minute cat nap, allow yourself a luxury of a nap. Special Perk: Writer + nap = work. (Or at least, that’s what I’ve managed to convince my family.)

8. A plea on behalf of all the introverted children out there in the world—for introverted children, having to get up in Santa’s lap and TALK to this perfect stranger, usually IN FRONT OF other perfect strangers can be the 6 year old equivalent of public speaking.

9. Fill your holiday well by doing the things that make your holiday feel complete and yours. Remember, this is not self-indulgence, it’s self-preservation. It’s also a way to honor the spirit of the holidays in a way that has personal significance for you. Better yet if it is something that no one else really cares for: a local production of The Nutcracker, Watching Love Actually (my favorite Christmas movie EVER), a certain collection of holiday music that makes everyone else groan when you put it on.

10. Don’t forget to recharge your batteries—and no, we don’t mean Duracell or Eveready! We really can’t state this one strongly enough. It’s something introverts have to be vigilant about during the best of time, but during the holidays, it is critical! Take the time to recharge your battery! Do not risk depleting your reserves! (Yes, that’s an order. Or maybe just a sternly worded warning: Whichever makes you most inclined to follow it.)

11. Enjoy the dead zone between Christmas and New Years, when life kind of stops—or at least slows down. It’s a fallow, fertile time when we’ve just capped the year with a celebration and have yet to start the new year with all its resolutions, plans, and intentions. It’s a time for dreaming, reflecting, of reviewing and savoring. If you haven’t had a chance to refill your well or recharge your batteries, grab some time now, while everyone is in this lulled state.

Wishing everyone a fabulous end to 2009!

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And our winner from last weeks additions to the Introvert's Wish List is . . .

Feywriter! For her brilliant idea of NO carpooling!

"10: No carpooling to the family event. Allow us to follow in our own car even though others have plenty of space in the suburban. We happen to like the familiarity of our own vehicle, and the lack of conversation."

Spoken like a true introvert! Feywriter, email Miss Mary and she'll see about getting that prize out to you!

13 comments:

Maureen Hume said...

Sounds fabulous! Thanks for all the encouragement thoughout the year. You guys are the best!
Maureen

julieduck said...

I love the dead zone between Christmas and New Year's! It's like people don't know what to do with themselves... but I do. I revel in the quiet solitude of coming down the slope of holiday panic, toward new opportunities for reflection and time to myself.

Well done!

- Julie

Hope Clark said...

I dread the holidays each year because of all the chaos. People think I'm nuts not being excited about all the neon, lights, noise and people. Thanks for these thoughts. They are great.

Hope Clark
FundsforWriters.com

laurasalas said...

Thanks for these great reminders! I'm at ground zero of chaos right now and am trying to pace myself.

(Also, I should have that interview post for you next week.)

Wishing you peace and naps over the holidays,
Laura

Renee Pinner said...

I love that you included #8!

Mitali Perkins said...

My new resolution for 2010: Bed heads by mid-afternoon on a regular basis. Thanks for understanding.

MG Higgins said...

Thank you for these great reminders. I laughed/cried at #8, remembering hysterically screaming as I was forced to sit on Santa's lap, my extroverted mom wondering what in the world was wrong with me.

Feywriter said...

A great list and a great reminder. Thank you for the prize and recognition!

Rebecca Knight said...

I love this place, now that I've discovered it :). It's like a clubhouse full of people who give each other permission to be themselves (and then leave one another alone.)

It's awesome! I love this kind of clubhouse ;).

Merry Christmas to all, and PEACE during this season.

Mary Hershey said...

Love this post EVER much, Robin! Thanks--

Congrats Feywriter! Be on the lookout for your surprise package. :-)

I have been having some lovely-lovely-lovely Morning Pages this week. My well is singing!

Hope some of you are finding some time for some vision boards.
Extremely powerful mojo!

Love and fudge,
Mary

Sabrina said...

I like and agree with all of these. Especially the last. Because I'm short on cash, I bought less/cheaper items for family and friends and got crafty this year, trying my hand at making necklaces and stuffed animals (the giraffes seem to be a big hit).

But on top of that, I've been very social as well, running around for hours almost every day then coming home and sewing until 2 in the morning. Although I have some belated presents to finish, I am looking forward to the rest of today and the following week, when I can slow down, take naps, and enjoy myself in solitude.

Stacy Post said...

What a wonderful discovery and none too soon! I look forward to future posts! Bravo!

Sharon R. Cole said...

Hi Shrinking Violet Promotions,

I just came across your blog and wanted to say 'thank you!'

It's taken me a long time to embrace my introvertedness, but lately (and after realizing I'm an INFP according to Jung and the MB scale), I can't imagine wanting to be any other way.

It's a relief to celebrate introvertedness as opposed to believing I'm dysfunctional :0)

Thanks again,
Sharon