Lillian’s latest contribution is very much to my liking, almost paints a mirror image of how I approach the holidays. Truth told, I avoid all the cocktail parties which a few years ago still meant so much, to a large part because traffic into the city tends to be so bad, though admittedly, would anyone invite me for a breakfast function at half six in the a.m. I would definitely be there!. My own order to RSVP is done alphabetically, from A to Z, not leaving out a single one so that my hosts at least know I will not be there.
Solo activities I also know much about as only fellow solo travelers can appreciate, though knitting is definitely not among them, in case one of you wonders just how far I would go to keep myself occupied if I am not at my keyboard writing up news and feature stories or change planes somewhere enroute to somewhere else.
All in all, thank you Lillian, this is one of my best liked of your contributions this year, so keep it up and keep our both readers entertained, and when it gets too much, run for that retreat spot in a hidden corner you have mapped out already on entry …
Six Holiday Hacks For Introverts
The sting of being an introvert is perhaps felt most during the festive period; from corporate end of year parties, department mixers, family gatherings and endless dinner invitations. It can therefore be overwhelming for folks who prefer their own space, and find fun in less interaction. It’s therefore important that such people prepare themselves both emotionally and mentally to avoid the holiday drain. With this in mind, Travel Advisors at travel.jumia.com offer useful tips on how to manage your energy, and enjoy the holidays without losing your sanity.
Learn to say no / skip a party
Knowing how far you can stretch is important for own survival. With tens of pending parties, and more invitations flowing, it’s only sane that you RSVP to the invites following a particular order. Once this is done, you will be able to leave breaks in between for re-energizing so as to avoid burn out.
Assign yourself a task
This is a great way of limiting the time you’ll have to be out interacting and holding social conversations that do not so much appeal to your introvert nature. For instance, if you like hanging out with children, you can volunteer as the day’s minder. Similarly if you have any skills on the bar, you can chose to do the cocktail mixing or even wait at the drinks counter. Having a task allows you acceptable excuse to scamper off anytime you start getting peopled-out at any event.
Plan an exit strategy
Once you are at the party, your presumed people power may wane out sooner than expected or hoped for. For this purpose, you need to have in mind a pre-conceived exit plan that sounds both polite and sincere. For instance, you may have tasks that await you like walking your dogs, collecting deliveries or feeding your pets at particular times. For whatever it’s worth, you’d rather leave sooner, than push yourself and end up doing things you may regret later.
Try a solo activity
If you are hosting family for days, or is required to attend a long winding event over the holidays, you can find solace in carrying along one of your favorite solo activities that does not come across as too anti-social. Activities such as knitting, drawing, painting and such will ensure that you can retreat to your own space without looking like a misfit. The rule of the thumb is to pick something that you truly enjoy, and one that calls for full immersion – even when others are involved.
Mark out a retreat spot
I am not an introvert, but at times I tend to easily run out of patience for small talk, and duplicate introductions in whispered voices! My first assignment once I report on ground is to spot out a calm corner that does not attract much traffic and attention. If it’s an inhouse event, and you are a close relation/friend to the host, you can kindly request to take your breaks in one of the more private bedrooms. If you are in an outdoor/garden event, then find some space away from the noise and movement where you can run off to and catch your breath.
You are not anti-social, you are an introvert!
For life’s sake, do not get yourself into a pity-party because of your seemingly weird habits. Introverts love having fun and meeting people just as much as their extroverted counterparts, the only difference is in the way each achieves their objective. With this knowledge, if you simply cannot muster the strength to attend a massive family Christmas dinner at Uncle Petero’s, make arrangements to meet with smaller immediate family units through the holidays – by doing one on one interactions. (or else do that proverbial runner to a place where being introvert is not just accepted but welcomed)
Lillian Gaitho | Head of PR & Communication at Jumia Travel