There is so much to do and so many people to see – especially after spending so long apart. But are you making enough time to recharge your batteries?

Feeling worn out after filling your weekends with social plans? As the world reopens, you may have put pressure on yourself to ‘make the most of it’, and try to see everyone you haven’t been allowed to see in months. 

But after such an extended period at home, we may feel a little out of practise. It is easy to see how this can lead to a little fatigue, anxiety, or guilt, slowly draining our social batteries. In order to make the most of the social occasions we want to be present for, it is important to balance this out with some rest and recuperation so we can come back firing on all cylinders. 

Re-entry anxiety

You may have heard the term ‘re-entry anxiety’ being discussed as restrictions slowly lift and society starts to return to normal. It refers to the nerves and worry that people may feel about being around other people and returning to activities from pre-pandemic. 

While completely natural to feel a little anxious in social settings and in busy places, it is important not to underestimate the energy these activities may require. Not to mention that many of us are still figuring out how to process all that has happened over the past couple of years. 

You may find yourself getting tired out a little faster than you used to, and needing a little longer between social occasions to recharge. It is key to listen to these cues as you reacclimatise to avoid burnout.


Social anxiety

Separate to nerves post-pandemic, social anxiety is still a common thing that people experience before and during spending time with friends and even family. It can lead to heightened self-consciousness and a fear of being negatively judged by others. Similarly to re-entry anxiety, this can quickly drain your energy, making self-care all the more important to take into account, especially as we get used to spending more of our time with other people. 

Social anxiety is often a trigger for increased alcohol consumption as a ‘social lubricant’, however this is not a long term solution. Alcohol can exacerbate feelings of anxiety over time, only adding to the negative strain on your mental wellbeing.

Social hangovers

Yes, you may well have a real hangover if alcohol was a part of your social plans or you felt the need to take the edge off any anxious feelings about being in public – but social hangovers are a real thing too. 

Before the lockdown had us indoors, many of us would be up and about from the second we woke up to the second we went to bed without much thought. Work, events, dinners out, and all the other busy life stuff like shopping, working out and running errands – how come we managed that week in, week out, and now, it seems like a few hours of socialising has worn us out? Whether you consider yourself to be introverted or extroverted, both seem to be feeling the fatigue of being social.

According to clinical psychologist, Dr Julie Smith, this may be due to our bodies being on ‘high alert’ as we head back out into the world. In other words, this is your body’s survival response telling you to be careful as you step outside your comfort zone, doing something you haven’t done for a long time. These spikes in stress can be exhausting, and add that into the mix of readjusting to a busy schedule and concentrating on conversations and it is easy to see why you may feel tired and in need of a rest after socialising. 

Finding balance in your social calendar 

How do our busy lives just keep getting busier? Full working weeks, lots of responsibilities and then throwing social plans into the mix? It is a lot to fit in, and if self-care and relaxation are not prioritised into your week, you can imagine how quickly these are pushed to the bottom of the pile. However trivial it may feel, it is important to take time for yourself, doing the things that allow you to feel nourished and recharged. 

Tips for balancing rest and social plans

Okay so we know we need to find balance… But how? Easier said than done? Maybe, but it is crucial to prioritise time for yourself so you can enter the following week refreshed and ready. We have some tips to help you to do exactly that.

Don’t over commit

It is normal to wish to fill all of your free time with fun plans, especially after not being able to for so long – but packing your schedule to the brim can be a fast route to burn out. Try to set out enough time for you to have a breather between different activities and remind yourself that it is okay to not attend every occasion you are invited to.

Practise a culture of flexibility

Remember, if you are feeling socially exhausted, then your friends and loved ones are likely to be feeling it too. You can influence a change in your social circles, making space to be more accepting of flexibility in plans and allow for those who are feeling a little worn out to take some time for themselves if and when they need to. 

Carve out slots for ‘me time’

Lastly, don’t underestimate the importance of some ‘me time’ in recovering during your busy week. A tired, burned out version of you doesn’t help anyone! Mark out time in your diary to take care of yourself so you can come back fighting fit and be present for your friends and loved ones at the next big gathering. 

A healthy balance = fun for all

Too much of anything can be taxing, and we want socialising to remain a fun pastime that we look forward to, so let’s make sure it stays that way! Recharge your social batteries between events and make sure to take care of you.  


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