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Your in-box is a mass of holiday party invitations. Your schedule is so packed that “Bah, humbug” is quickly becoming your mantra. And, by the way, you’re starting to hyperventilate while your palms sweat.

Welcome to the world of highly sensitive people.

Don’t even think about staying home in December! This is the perfect chance to put some of the Soul Boss practices you’ve refined to work. The 4 tips below are built on self-awareness, discernment, and nurturing yourself. (And a special shout-out to parents getting their HSP child or teenager started on these techniques.)

If you’re thinking, “Who cares? I’m not an HSP,” wait before you click away! Chances are that you know someone effected by sounds, smell or stimulus. You may not be an HSP, but you might be hosting or attending an event with someone who is.

Here are 4 ways for HSPs to manage the holidays:

Have conversation starters in your back pocket. If you want to make an HSP squirm, corner them on the couch or at a banquet table and say, “So, tell me all about yourself!”

Get ready for the big holiday parties with a few go-to questions. You can use some of the Bloom Planners prompts like best book you’ve read, the nicest thing you did, or the best place you visited (or would like to visit). Be ready to respond with your favorites, too – that’s how you start a meaningful conversation in the middle of a potentially overwhelming event.

And hosts, keep these ice breakers in mind. They’re invaluable for getting strangers at your get-together talking.

Downtime isn’t an extravagance. I have a friend who created a family tradition of driving around looking at Christmas lights. Her kids hang out in their pajamas, snacking on Christmas cookies and hot cocoa. Their intimate time together offsets her husband’s jammed, loud company holiday party.

You may not be able to even out your schedule on a 1:1 basis, but recognize that you need quiet activities to balance the days and nights you’re out on the town.

blessed-is-the-season

Happy guests make a happy party. I wish someone had told this to the host who saw me getting my coat after a 10-hour workday and shouted, “You can’t leave! We haven’t sung Christmas carols yet!”

You know what works best for you, so do it. That includes just stopping by for cocktails or arriving fashionably late.

If you’re worn out, talked out, or just not having fun, give yourself permission to move on. Use the happy, confident exit phrase of every rock musician: “Thank you and good night!”

Put yourself on your list. What brings the season alive? Maybe you need to set aside time to enjoy a quiet meal with just the Christmas tree lights on or take a walk in the cold air.

Finish this question: “It wouldn’t be Christmas if I didn’t _______.” For me, Christmas entertainment is mandatory, and that’s why “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is already in my DVR…

Party on, Soul Bosses!