As wonderful as they are, the holidays are also incredibly stressful. Between shopping, cooking, and traveling to visit family, there’s not much opportunity for “me time.” But what if you could make some? Jessica Misener, author of JOMO: 350+ Ways to Make Staying in More Fun Than Going Out, proposes we ditch FOMO (fear of missing out) and embrace JOMO (joy of missing out). Here are her introvert-friendly tips for taking it easy and savoring this holiday season.
#1: Light a candle.
Nothing is more soothing than your favorite scent and a gently flickering flame, especially on a cold winter night. Whether you’re hosting a holiday dinner party or just curling up with a book on the couch, let the gleam of candlelight warm your home and quiet your spirit.
#2: Curate your holiday party calendar.
The first three weeks in December are typically a blur of work holiday parties, family holiday parties, friends’ holiday parties… and so on. A packed social schedule can drain your energy, not to mention how a month straight of baked brie hors d’oeuvres and pinot noir can make your body feel (not great). Go through your planner and see which events you can skip—maybe you can send a bottle of wine to that friend of a friend instead of spending a weeknight at their fête.
#3: Try an unusual meditation.
When most people picture meditation, sitting on the floor in the lotus position and chanting “om” comes to mind. But meditating can take whatever form feels authentic to you. Folding paper dreidels, doing some deep cleaning, or going for a walk in the cold air to look at twinkling holiday lights can also restore your soul.
#4: Tackle some DIYs.
The great thing about DIY crafting is you can choose your own level of effort and time commitment. Feeling super Martha Stewart-y? Weave a eucalyptus wreath, whip up some snow globes, or crochet some ornaments. For a fun but less involved project, those classic paper snowflakes you learned to make in kindergarten will do just fine—grab some scissors and start folding!
#5: Order your gifts online.
Malls? Crowds? Please. Make your to-do list come to you and avoid all the shopping mayhem by shopping from the comfort of your own couch. Wearing real pants not required.
#6: Make a bunch of holiday treats… for yourself.
Holiday baking feels like a huge chore when you’re tasked with making enough cookie bars for all 80 members of your family. But when you can hoard that tray of peppermint mocha truffles or apricot rugelach for your own benefit, you’ll reap the therapeutic benefits of baking (and fully get to enjoy the fruits of your labor).
#7: Watch all those cheesy cable TV holiday movies.
You know, the ones where a tough-minded city girl comes home to her small town for Christmas, meets a handsome, charming stranger and learns a big lesson about the meaning of life? Give your mind a break from “serious TV” and relax with a fluffy, heart-warming holiday comedy.
#8: Read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
In this 1843 classic work of fiction, you’ll learn about cultural touchstones like Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come, as well as take home a meaningful lesson about the importance of generosity. Psssst: After you read the book, check out the Muppet movie version for a little bit of levity.
#9: Set aside some time to be thankful.
There’s no time like the holidays to reflect on what we have and what we appreciate in ourselves and in our lives. Share your gratitude with others, especially those who might be alone during this season.