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Holiday tips for introverts and highly sensitive people

It's that time of year again - the holidays! It can be a stressful time of year or it can be a joyful time of year or a mixture of both.

It can be especially stressful if you're an introvert or a highly sensitive person. There's so much going on, so much to do, too many expectations, and it's easy to become overwhelmed by it all.

To help calm things down and shift perspective to what really matters, I'm going to share some of my secrets on how I plan to approach the holiday season. From one highly sensitive introvert to another...

Draw from special memories from your past

I bring meaning into the holidays by drawing from my Southern roots - they do go deep! I lived in Louisiana when I was younger and I have many good memories about family and the food there. My mother was a great cook and she put a lot of time and love into cooking authentic Southern dishes for the family. So this year, I decided to host a Cajun Christmas and it draws from these memories. I went through all of my Louisiana cookbooks - some were passed down from my mother - and carefully selected some of our favorite family recipes. Shrimp Etouffee (or crawfish if I can find it), gumbo, cornbread, boudin, pecan squares, and my mother's memorable Rum Cake. I still have her original recipe that was torn out of a magazine - probably from the 90's. It's a keeper!

One thoughtful gesture

Consider doing something thoughtful for someone else - even a small thing. Each Christmas I wonder what I can do to help others. This year I saw a post on Social Media about a Secret Santa at the local Good Samaritan. Sadly, some residents there do not have anyone that comes to visit them and the loneliness would really hit home during the holidays. I am excited to deliver the two requested gifts for one of the residents there (a button up dress shirt and an apple pie to snack on). It's the least I can do. It feels good to give, even if it's only a small gesture. More importantly, this can have a powerful impact on someone's life.

Create something

Draw upon your creativity - believe me, I am not an artist, but I can be creative if it has some meaning behind it. What better time than the holidays to create something special and meaningful. I have put my creativity to use by making a Christmas garland with a string of pictures of family members on it, most are no longer with us, and hang it on the fireplace mantel or around the Christmas tree. It literally brings them into the room and is a way of staying connected to them through the memories or stories we share about them.

This year I am "attempting to create" a unicorn Christmas tree for my granddaughter. I have all the supplies and now it's just a matter of building up the courage to try and create this thing. It's the creation of something that's meaningful to someone that makes it special.

So these are just a few ideas that can generate that heart-warming feeling during the holidays. I hope this inspires you to draw upon your own sense of meaning and creativity to capture the true spirit of the holidays.

If you know someone who would benefit from what you've read here, please forward this blog to them or send them over to my website


Hi! I'm Beth Matthews. I'm a Registered Psychologist who is driven to helping people feel better about themselves. I help people who are struggling in their lives gain an awareness of how they can cope with anything that comes their way. With my easy-to-use strategies, you can feel better and be your best you!


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