The Introvert’s Guide to Recovering From The Holidays

Mike Foster

Someone once told me I was an introvert with a high social capacity. In that very moment my whole world made sense.

Photo Credit: Brandon King, Creative Commons

Photo Credit: Brandon King, Creative Commons

That was me, perfectly.

I love people but I also adore my quiet time. I want to change the world but, in order to accomplish anything, I need to be alone in my world sometimes.  

So after holiday traveling, family time, friends parties, buying kids presents and doing a lot of things with a lot of people, I needed to go to my comfort zone and shut the door.  

If you’re an introvert, you need to be alone to fill back up.

So, to help all of us who need to be alone but have a “high social capacity,” I’ve decided to write the Introvert’s 3-Step Guide to Recovering After the Holidays.

Step 1: Give Yourself Permission To Disappear

Visit your favorite coffee shop. Have a dinner for one. Go see a movie by yourself. You need a secret place to process all the people and pie and stuff that just happened to you from Christmas on into that New Years party.

Come out of hiding after you’ve wrapped your mind around it.

Step 2: Do Something Creative Or Fun

If you’ve set New Year’s goals, doodle pictures of them on a piece of paper. Get your mountain bike and try a new trail. Set a quote as your theme for the next month and paint it on a canvas. Take your dog for a walk and dream of what’s next in your life.

Whatever inspires you, do that. 

It will help your brain breathe after the holidays and give the year to come an inspirational perspective. 

Step 3: Hang Out With Someone Who Fills You Up, Not A Crowd That Wears You Out

I traveled to a few places during and after the holidays. The celebrating overflowing into speaking and sharing airplane space had me worn out.

At some point, I really missed my wife.

When I’m empty, she’s the person who fills me up. I really like all those other people I got to meet. But she’s the one who can enter into my comfort zone because she gets me. When you’re drained, don’t throw yourself into a crowd that will drain you dry.

Instead, hang out with people who fill you up.

A few moments with the right people can give you the energy you need take on the rest of the world. 

Fellow introverts, if you ever want to hit the gas and go again you have to refuel. Give yourself permission to be alone, do something inspirational and be selective about who you spend your time with until you’re refreshed.

Once you’re full again, you can love people well, give all you’ve got back into your workplace and can even get excited again about the next celebration. 

Happy Recovering!

Mike Foster

Mike Foster

This is a post by Mike Foster, one of the Storyline Contributors. Mike is the Co-Founder of People of the Second Chance ( and the author of an innovative small group study called "Freeway: A Not-So-Perfect Guide To Freedom." Make sure to follow along on Twitter (@mikefoster) for regular updates. To read more of his posts on the Storyline Blog, click here.

  • Yes! I need so much time on my own, a huge amount of time, not least because my disability makes me sensitive to noise, busy-ness and things happening. But I also love seeing people (in small groups!). It’s all about balance