The holiday season is a magical time full of fun holiday parties, romantic Christmas movies, and family traditions — not to mention all those bite-sized sweets. But for introverts who crave alone time and can’t handle small talk, it can be a particularly stressful time. We know you’re not a grinch — it’s just that too much togetherness can be emotionally depleting. That’s why we’ve put together a list of eight essential self-care rituals to ease your holiday-season anxiety.

introvert guide to self care

1. Say om at the airport. Even if you never do a single down dog, just sitting quietly for a few minutes in a yoga room at the airport will majorly restore your mental health during a long layover or flight delay. These rooms are meant to be a quiet, serene oasis from what is surely chaos at the gates.

2. Schedule in a bath. Seriously — make one weeknight a designated bath night. Candles, bath salts, wine, a face mask, and the Kardashians are the only guests you should be entertaining while you decompress and reinvigorate. Not only will you get that sweet alone time you need to recharge, but you’ll also be primped and party-ready for the weekend.

3. Just say no. This may be the hardest of them all, but we’re giving you permission to keep your calendar as sparse as you need it to be. You’re not obligated to attend every cocktail hour, holiday party, friends dinner, movie night, or gift swap you’re invited to, so just RSVP yes to those events you truly want to attend with the people you care most about.

4. Stay away from shopping centers. As much as you possibly can, anyway (sometimes a gal just needs a Target run). Much of the holiday season madness comes from traffic jams, long lines, and pushy people at those big box stores, and by taking that ish out of the equation, you’re prioritizing your own happiness. Instead, visit independent boutiques, order online, or get crafty and DIY thoughtful gifts for everyone on your list.

5. Use a sleep tracking app. Nothing throws you off balance more than a wonky sleep schedule, and during the non-stop season, it often feels impossible to get a full eight hours. Using a sleep app during the holidays can be crucial to your self-care routine; they’ll wake you up during your lightest sleep cycle, monitor how much restful sleep you’re actually getting, and lull you into a deep sleep at bedtime.

6. Bake with your besties. Sure, you need your quiet time, but that doesn’t mean you want to start hibernating before the holidays are even over. Invite your girlfriends over for a Christmas cookie baking night — you’ll get QT with your BFFs and have your office gift-giving list taken care of in a single night.

7. Do a deep clean first thing. Right before the holiday season gets into full swing, spend a Saturday afternoon doing a serious deep clean of your place. Wash curtains, wipe floorboards, bleach the tub — all those extra annoying chores that will pay off exponentially when you enjoy the luxury of coming home to a sparkling clean house every evening.

8. Keep your routine. Last, but certainly not least, try to maintain your routine as much as possible during the frenetic holiday season. If you always go to yoga on Sunday mornings, don’t forgo the ritual just because you had a party on Saturday night. Same goes for therapy sessions, dog walks, acupuncture appointments, or any other self-care commitments you enjoy.

Do you have any self-care tips that re-energize you during the holidays? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know what works for you!

(Illustrations via Emily Dubin)