What’s World Introvert Day, you say? Quite possibly the best day of the year! This “holiday” is celebrated every year on Jan. 2. Although not an official day of observance — at least not yet — it has been commemorated by exhausted introverts around the world since 2011. It began when Felicitas Heyne wrote this blog post calling for a day for introverts to recharge after the busy holiday season. Weary introverts everywhere lifted their tired, brain-fogged heads and whispered fiercely, “Please!”
But it’s more than just a day to recharge. It’s also a time to bring awareness to introversion. We “quiet ones” make up 30-50 percent of the population, yet despite quite possibly half of the world being like us, we often feel undervalued, overlooked, and misunderstood. That’s because our society loves the extrovert’s way. Classrooms, workplaces, and social norms favor the loud, collaborative, fast-paced approach. The introvert’s independent, reflective way is generally not understood or accepted.
World Introvert Day is about making our quiet voices heard. It’s about starting a conversation about how to make our world a better place for introverts.
Oh, and comfy pants. Always the comfy pants.
How to Celebrate World Introvert Day
You don’t have to stay up until midnight to celebrate this holiday. You don’t have to gather all your friends and family together, shop until you drop, or make empty small talk. In fact, all those activities are big no-no’s on Jan. 2.
World Introvert Day is possibly the only holiday you’ll celebrate that won’t exhaust you.
There’s only one rule when it comes to partaking in this day of jubilee — do something that gives you energy and life. For most of us, that means staying home and doing our introvert thang. But World Introvert Day doesn’t have to be spent at home, alone. Here are seven ideas about how to celebrate.
1. A binge-watching marathon in your pajamas
This could be done alone or with a close friend, roommate, or spouse. Just don’t do a lot talking between episodes. And have snacks. Always snacks.
2. Put on some tea and read a good book
Reading transports introverts to their absolute favorite place — their inner world. It’s a realm of imagination, emotion, and insight. Choose a book from your favorite genre/author, something you know will keep you turning the pages all night long. Or might I suggest you take your introvert day reading to the next level, and check out my book about introverts?
3. Meet your best friend for a heartfelt chat over wine
Or whatever your drink of choice is. Yes, it may seem counterintuitive to be with people on a day set aside for recharging. I’m not talking about attending a party. Introverts crave social connection, too — deep, profound, meaningful connections that usually aren’t found in a crowd. And no surprise here, but a recent study found that meaningful conversation and happiness are linked. They key is to choose someone who will make you feel energized after being around them, not drained.
4. Go to a museum, bookstore, park, or other venue of your choice in the off hours
Personally, I absolutely love perusing a bookstore or wandering, awe-struck and lost like a child, through an art museum. What I hate is battling the crowds to be there. This won’t be possible for everyone, but if your schedule allows it, go to one of your favorite public places early in the morning or in the middle of the day when not many people are around. Go alone, or with someone who energizes you.
5. Get creative
Alone time isn’t just about binge-watching your favorite shows while lounging on the couch. Many introverts spend their alone time doing something creative, like writing, playing music, making art, or coding an app. And, unfortunately, many of us have to do those things in our precious few hours of free time — after work, between other obligations, and when we just happen to have an unscheduled hour or two. Today, dedicate your entire day to your craft.
6. Order food delivery online
Why get up to cook when you could stay on the couch and keep reading? And why use that introvert torture device called a phone to dial up the pizza place when you could order online? This one saves you both effort and human interaction. Win.
7. Cancel plans
Or better yet, don’t plan anything in the first place. This is your day. Do what you want.
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Learn more: The Secret Lives of Introverts: Inside Our Hidden World, by Jenn Granneman