3 Tips To Help You Navigate Holiday Chaos — Even If You're An Introvert
There are various ways to define and experience being an introvert. Whether your personality leans more in the direction of "shy" or you're quite outgoing but feel drained after socializing (especially in larger groups), this time of year can feel overwhelming even before it starts. From the pressure to show up for holiday gatherings to the expectations of family, it's easy to lose your sense of self and feel as if you're starting the new year depleted and unbalanced.
Never fear, like that awkward elf on a shelf arriving against all odds every morning, your friendly neighborhood introvert (and meditation expert) is here with my three best practices for thriving—not just surviving—during the holidays!
Have a "Ghost of Holidays Past" moment and take a moment for reflection.
What are the holiday moments that you look back on with the fondest memories? Who in your life feels like your favorite adaptogen herb? (You know, that person that always seems to know when your nervous system needs a little boost or to decompress!) What brand of "holiday cheer" has your body really appreciated in the past?
Reflect on these questions and anything else that stirs up happy memories for you. Based on your answers, create a mindful game plan to set yourself up for success ahead of this holiday. This way, you'll be less reactive to inevitable plot twists, and more likely to respond from a place of connection.
The end of the year is rife with temptations to give in to what other people want from you. (Shoutout to all my people pleasers). It is very possible to be loving and generous with your time while also honoring what you are craving as you bring this year to a close.
This year, set healthy boundaries as an act of self-love. I recommend reverse engineering this by reflecting on how you want to feel at the end of the month and then asking yourself, "What does that desired future version of me require of the present-moment me?" Make a list and then create the boundaries that you are going to mindfully assert in your life.
Here's what this looks like in action: In the past when I've felt overwhelmed with proposed social commitments, I've adopted this response: "Thank you so much for thinking to include me. I have a lot on my plate and won't be able to fully commit until (insert a date closer to the event when you'll have a better gauge on your feelings). Let me know if that works for you, and know that I completely understand if it doesn't because you need a hard commitment earlier for planning purposes."
I know, I know. I'm biased, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong! Whether it's navigating travel, being around family, or staying focused on end-of-year intentions, a meditation practice will help you enjoy your holiday moments and end the year feeling balanced. The incredible thing about meditation is that it benefits your physical body, your emotional body, and your spiritual body. Talk about a return on your investment! (And if you're reading this and thinking that it sounds like a great idea but you have no idea how to start, try my 21-Day guided meditation series that will guide you through what you need to feel less stressed and more confident on your path to manifest your desires for 2023.)
The holiday season can be a challenging time for anyone with introverted tendencies. Reflecting on happy holiday memories, setting firm boundaries, and meditating are three ways to get through it feeling strong, satisfied, and most importantly, true to yourself.
Meditation teacher and author Megan Monahan is passionate about making meditation accessible and relatable. Her goal is to infuse a modern-day “realness” into the all too often esoteric landscape of meditation. Since learning to meditate in 2009 with Deepak Chopra and becoming a Chopra Certified instructor, she has taught thousands to meditate through her platform. She works with corporate brands like Lululemon, Chopra Global, Unplug Meditation and Wanderlust while working privately with personal and corporate clients internationally, always bringing her spiritual real talk. Her first book, Don't Hate, Meditate was published in 2019 by Ten Speed Press.