How To Recharge Your Social Battery For The Christmas Week
Silly season is almost upon us.
Christmas may be a time for friends, family, and food (lots of it), but as the days get shorter and the nights get longer, the pressure to attend every single social event under the sun reigns supreme.
If you don’t go, you’ll miss out – you’ll have FOMO, you’ll piss people off, you’ll let them down. But if you do go, you risk running your social battery into the ground, exhausting yourself, and ultimately having a Very Bad Time.
Everyone among us has a social battery. Some people’s last longer than others, they can go out 7 nights a week, chat to everyone they know, and appropriately function fine the next day.
Others, however, can only do much socialising before they need a break – a need that is totally warranted and acceptable, and only becomes an issue when they fail to recognise that their social battery is dying and in desperate need of recharging.
So, if you’re struggling to find the chance to recharge and are low key worrying about your upcoming winter schedule, look no further.
1. Plan your week out in advance
If you can. In the age of intense social expectation, constant rescheduling, and consistent busy-ness, it can be incredibly difficult to know exactly what you’re doing week on week.
Some days you’re wall to wall coffees and catch ups, and others you’re home alone on the sofa wondering where all of your friends went.
Plans can chop and change as quickly as the weather, but if you’ve got even a vague handle on what you’re doing week on week, it will give you a better opportunity to establish if you’re over-booking yourself or not.
Every Sunday, delve deep into your calendar and map out where and when you’re likely to be for the week. Consider whether two dinners with 6+ people in a row followed by a cocktail night with the gals peppered with three days of working from the office is too much for you right now.
And if it is…
2. Cancel plans if you need to
Everyone hates being cancelled on (unless, you too, are considering cancelling, but that’s a different story).
It can be frustrating, especially if late notice, but if bailing on plans is the catalyst for you feeling less mentally and physically drained, then sometimes it simply must be done.
If you’re worried about how to broach the subject, and are concerned that a pal will be annoyed, put yourself in their shoes – what kind of message or reasoning would you like to receive in the same situation?
Explain yourself, tell them that you need a rest, and that you’ll reschedule soon. If the event is particularly significant, make it up to them some other way. If they’re a close friend, they’ll care about your well being, and they’ll know that you aren’t cancelling for a superficial reason.
3. Don’t feel bad about it
The temptation to make yourself feel guilty for cancelling plans and therefore negating the entire purpose of looking after your well being is rife – but if you’re going to spend an evening ruminating over your decision and stressing yourself out even more, you may as well have just gone.
Trust your judgement and listen to what you need. Giving yourself a much needed rest will be worth a moment of awkwardness.
4. Give yourself time to recharge
Being aware of your social battery is one thing, but actually allowing yourself time to recharge it is another.
It’s all well and good planning your week and cancelling when you need to, but if you’re not taking steps to recharge and relax, the next time you’re out and about, you could be back feeling just as exhausted again.
Stay off your phone, and more specifically – social media. Don’t spend your time recharging scrolling aimlessly through Instagram, wishing you were at the place you actively didn’t want to go to.
Take a bath, go for a long walk, read a book, or throw on a movie you’ve been meaning to watch. Spend some time with yourself, and enjoy your own company.
5. Listen to your body
If after all of this, you’re feeling right and ready to dive into another potentially chaotic social situation, go for it!
But if you’re not, listen to that feeling. If the thought of being surrounded by people still makes you feel tired, exhausted, or anxious, acknowledge it. Give yourself more time by yourself, or organise meet ups with smaller groups of people, or one on ones.
Ease yourself back into social settings, and give yourself an out if you’re not feeling it. Don’t force yourself through events if your body – and mind – are begging you to take it easy.
Set boundaries for yourself and stick to them – that way, the next time you need to push them, you’ll have enough social reserves to do so.