I absolutely adore the holidays, don't get me wrong, but they tend to take a lot out of me. If you're like me, you've already started mentally preparing. For me, I start by thinking about the questions your family members are going to ask.
How's school? How's your business doing? How's your boyfriend?
It's the same EVERY time. While your questions might not be exactly this, you know what I'm talking about. Small talk. Maybe it's just the introvert in me, but small talk can be draining and a room full of people can be incredibly overwhelming, even if it is family and friends.
Luckily for me, Thanksgiving is typically hosted at my parents house. I tend to come out of my room, make the rounds, and then retreat back to the quiet of my room. The silence never lasts for long. One of my family members will eventually notice I'm not in the room and wander back to my room, attempting to drag me out forcing me to "be social." I've already answered all the small talk questions, so I'm not really sure how much more social I can be.
So I go out and show my face in the living room, trying to find a quiet corner. I want more than anything to go and sit in the silence in my room, but I know if I leave again I'll be criticized for being antisocial. Every holiday I experience loneliness in a room full of people I know & love because of the overwhelm that triggers my anxiety. I think part of it is the amount of loud people in a small space. As someone who values alone time to recharge, I think the holidays bring a pressure of togetherness. Togetherness is wonderful and family time is great, but if you are like me, it's best if togetherness comes in small doses.
So this holiday season, if you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and lonely just know that you are not alone. Not everybody understands the need for alone time and self-care. Do what is best for you and remember that self care is not selfish!