This time between Christmas and New Year’s can be uncomfortable for anyone. It feels like we’re imprisoned in a purgatory of bloated bellies, and restless minds.
For introvert overachievers, it is especially challenging. When you’re wired for self-improvement, it’s hard to accept that nothing gets done between the 25th and 31st.
This leaves us to wonder, what now? Are we just supposed to, like, relax or something? Ha.
For growth-minded introverts (there are many of us), it is so damn frustrating to have to stand still and simmer in our own inadequacies in this way.
Of course, the pandemic has compounded this collective sense of impotency.
That first initial lockdown in March was hard.
The uncertainty and chaos of subsequent months was brutal.
This time between Christmas and New Year’s is absolutely inhumane.
With nothing to do, introvert achievers fall back on our familiar coping mechanisms: obsession, perfectionism, and shiny new projects.
We’re reaching for our credit cards, as we self-improve, home-improve, and spouse-improve our way to momentary relief.
If there is a medal for online shopping, some of us are really going for gold right now.
Others have gone into a frenzy of cleaning and organizing, determined to Marie Kondo our way to inner peace.
My guess is that many introvert achievers have already plunged into new projects, even though deep down we know that fruit flies have a longer life expectancy than projects started in December.
I have already done all of the above. And can you blame me?
When I arrived home on Dec. 26th after spending Christmas with a close friend, I felt a mix of relief and terror.
Relief, because we introverts always love returning home to solitude after time away.
Terror, because, aside from being the end of Christmas, the 26th also marked the beginning of another major lockdown in my city of Ottawa, Canada.
And so began my frenzy of cleaning, decorating, and obsessing.
Of course, I am a mature, self-aware woman, so I don’t spend all my time running around in an obsessive craze. I’ve also developed a nervous tick.
Luckily, I have strategies to cope. For example, I have my self-acceptance techniques, which pretty much boil down to three phrases:
“Done is better than perfect.”
“You can worry about that later.”
“Well, you’re doing better than [insert name of degenerate acquaintance].”
Another practice that can be especially useful at this time of year is taking stock of my progress.
I look at how far I’ve come, rather than fixating on what I have yet to achieve.
I ask myself…
How has my life improved in the last three years?
What life lessons have I learned?
What have I achieved that I’m proud of?
It’s a pretty powerful practice, so why not give it a try? I suspect you have the time.
P.S. If you’re new to the blog, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Michaela Chung, author of The Irresistible Introvert and The Year of The Introvert, and creator of this amazing innie community we have here. For several years, I’ve been building up a labyrinth of introvert resources that will take you on a magical journey toward more confidence, connection, and self-love. Start with this free Introvert Connection Guide.