I am thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Katy Cannon's new book 'The Switch Up'. I finished reading this a few days ago and absolutely loved it. Don't forget to stop by the blog next week to read my full review. It's the perfect summer read to pack in your suitcase!
For today's blog tour stop, I have a fantastic guest post from Katy herself. It's the ultimate 'Surviving Summer: An Introvert's Guide and it's a great read that I could really identify with.
Summer is a great time for getting together with friends, going out and doing things, and making the most of the great weather. Of course, for introverts (like me) it’s also a time to start panicking about being expected to do All The Peopling All The Time.
Don’t get me wrong; I like people, I like spending time with friends, and I like getting out and doing things. I even like sunshine, as long as I have enough sunscreen on. I just find all of the above – what I call Peopling - mentally and physically exhausting, after a while.
So, over the years, I’ve come up with my own methods for keeping my summers fun and enjoyable, not overwhelming. Here they are:
1. Build In Downtime. If you know that spending a lot of time with loads of people is going to leave you exhausted, try to schedule your summer so you have breaks between big social gatherings. This might take a bit of planning, but having a day – or even a morning, afternoon or evening – to yourself between commitments with friends or family will help you re-energise and enjoy your time with others more.
2. Make Your Own Fun. You don’t have to spend your time alone moping in your room or doing homework though (well, not all of it, anyway). Try jotting down some activities that do give you more energy and make you happy. Mine include reading, getting outside in the sunshine for a walk (or more reading), listening to podcasts, going to the cinema - or a museum or exhibition - by myself, following an online yoga video, and daydreaming (which sometimes turns into napping). Whatever your list is, having it there in front of you when you get your downtime will remind you of all the fun things you can use it for.
3. Pick Your People. Even for us introverts, some people are more draining than others – and a select few can even make us feel better than or as good as being alone! So pick who you spend your summer with carefully. Okay, so you can’t choose your family, and friendship groups often include at least one person who doesn’t thrill you, but just thinking about how different people make you feel can be a starting point. Even a subtle shift towards spending more time with those people who energize you, and building in more downtime between time spent with those who don’t, can help improve your summer.
4. Set Goals and Say No. These two sort of go together. If you’re anything like me, saying ‘no’ to people who want to spend time with you can be difficult. I’ve found that what helps me is having a really good reason I can’t hang out. So, I always keep a summer goals list – maybe a handful of books I want to read, an exhibition I want to visit, a project at home, that sort of thing. Then, when I need to not be Peopling, I can say with confidence that I have something else I really need to do that day. Because I do. It’s on my list, and it matters to me – and friends will respect that. (Really good friends will also totally understand if you tell them ‘I can’t People today. Can we People tomorrow?’ incidentally.)
5. Be You – and Love It. Above all, embrace being an introvert! All it means is that you find more energy in time alone than in large groups – like a third or more of the population. Introverts tend to be more thoughtful and reflective – which can lead to being more creative, more empathetic and able to build long lasting friendships. So, love who you are, and love summer again!
Huge thanks to Katy for writing such a lovely guest post and don't forget to check out all of the other stops on the blog tour. My review will be going live on the blog on publication day (13th June).