The festive season is a time of the year that has almost become synonymous with celebration and togetherness.
But for highly independent people, it can also be a time when their self-reliant nature still shines through.
These individuals have a unique approach to the festivities, that sets them apart from others.
So let’s explore the 6 things highly independent people do differently during the festive season.
1) They refuse to pile on the pressure
The festive season can be a wonderful time for a lot of us, with plenty to enjoy. But let’s face it, it can also bring with it a lot of extra pressure.
Some people feel a lot of obligation around the holidays.
- Spend money when they don’t want to or can’t afford it
- Go out and socialize when they’re not in the mood to
- Spend time with people they would rather not be with
- Feel happy all the time and hide any perfectly natural “negative” emotions
That can all add up to create plenty of stress.
Independent people refuse to buy into it. They know that they get to choose what they do and how they do it.
They insist on setting their own rules for the holiday season.
Sometimes that’s going to mean turning down certain requests, as we’ll see next.
2) They confidently say “no” to invitations
Can’t bear the thought of the work party?
Then don’t go.
I know it can feel easier said than done. But that’s the mindset of independent people.
Rather than agonize over how to get out of it, they aren’t afraid to assert themselves and do what suits them.
It can be as simple as saying “I’ve got other plans already” — even if those plans happen to be sitting on the sofa eating chocolate.
Independent people aren’t afraid to go against the grain. So they’re not overly concerned with what everyone else is or isn’t doing.
They make plans that work for them and discard the rest.
That makes it easier for them to drop the people-pleasing and say no to some of those festive invitations that the rest of us are dreading.
3) They don’t fear alone time
For many people, the festive season can bring with it melancholy.
With so much focus on friends, family, and togetherness it can leave us feeling very disconnected.
Not all of us can play happy families.
When we aren’t surrounded by loved ones around the holidays, feelings of loneliness are often compounded.
We make it worse for ourselves when we think that our festive season should look and feel a certain way. If it doesn’t we then feel like some sort of outcast.
During the height of COVID-19, I spent one Christmas day completely alone. It was the first time in my life I’d done so.
And the funny thing was…
It was fine.
I lounged around all day in my PJs, ate what I wanted, and did what I wanted. It was actually quite liberating.
Once I stopped feeling sorry for myself I realized that it was just another day, and it didn’t need to be a big deal.
Luckily, I think my independence helped. I didn’t fear being in my own company and doing my own thing.
Even though there is a lot of focus on being with others around this time of year, independent people recognize it’s also okay to fly solo.
In fact, they value their solitude and make time during the festive season to recharge.
They may prioritize self-reflection and introspection to gain clarity or set personal goals for the upcoming year.
They make sure they do activities that bring them joy — whether that’s reading, exercise, writing, or pursuing hobbies.
Essentially, they don’t abandon everything they hold dear just because it’s the holiday season.
4) They make new traditions
The holiday season itself is a worldwide cultural and commercial tradition that is thousands of years old.
And so most of us have had certain traditions passed down to us, without much consideration about why we do them, let alone whether we want to.
But highly independent people usually don’t feel bound in the same way by traditional norms.
They are better at embracing the opportunity to explore new customs and rituals. That’s because they’re not afraid of change.
So they can seek out unique experiences that align with their values and interests.
Maybe it’s spending the holidays abroad. Perhaps it’s rebranding Christmas as Friendsmas.
They might do away with decorations or gifts and opt to give their time instead by volunteering.
Rather than stick to the same tried and tested foods they’ve eaten since childhood, they might introduce a totally new menu.
Whatever they do, the point is they’re happy to put their own twist on things.
That allows them to create their own meaningful traditions that reflect their individuality.
5) They set and uphold their boundaries
Sure, the festive season is a time of giving, but that doesn’t mean we should let people constantly take, take, take from us.
For all of the reasons we laid out at the beginning of this article, this time of year can bring more pressures and demands too.
That makes it even more vital that we’ve got firm boundaries to protect us.
Luckily, independent people understand the importance of setting boundaries with friends and family during the festive season.
So they are able to establish clear expectations and communicate openly about their needs and limitations.
This empowers them to maintain a healthy balance between social obligations and personal time.
It means they don’t get sucked into obligations that threaten their well-being.
6) They don’t fall into the trap of comparison
The old saying that “comparison is the thief of joy” is doubly true around the festive season.
Everywhere you turn there are picture-perfect images projected of the holidays.
We log on to social media and see the highlights reel of other people’s celebrations, parties, and gifts.
So no wonder it’s common for envy to creep in.
Maybe it seems like everyone else is having a good time, but us.
We’re confronted with smiling faces and non-stop festive cheer.
Meanwhile, we’re fed up, lonely, or can’t wait for the holidays to be over.
Of course, we never know what’s going on behind the scenes in someone’s life. But we can quickly forget this and feel like the odd one out.
Highly independent people are great at focusing on their own lives. So they don’t give undue attention to what’s happening in someone else’s.
This frees them from the comparisonitis that can so easily strike at this time of year.
Independence doesn’t isolate us, it strengthens us
I think we could all learn a thing or two from highly independent people.
We may mistakenly think of independence around the holidays as selfish, but it’s time to reframe that as self-care.
We don’t have to sacrifice our well-being for the festive season.
Independence doesn’t have to mean isolating yourself from others. We all need support.
But it can mean doing things your way and leaning on your self-reliance to become your own pillar of strength.
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