With Christmas and the New Year approaching, you may have received an influx of invitations to festive events. If you’re feeling irritable, disengaged, or experiencing a sense of dread at the prospect of a month of socialising ahead of you, you may be suffering from social burnout, says psychologist Jan P. de Jonge at People Business Psychology.
Popular culture says that socialising is supposed to be good for our overall health and well-being, but there can be too much of a good thing, and you are feeling run down and overstimulated from overextending yourself.
If your zest for socialising has diminished, then the immediate reaction is to shut down. After all, we all have our own thresholds. But there are ways to navigate through this busy festive month of socialising:
Just be you
The first thing you may want to do is understand what your own personal preferences are. Once you understand what your deep-rooted preferences are, you can begin to accept them. Accepting what you like and dislike, what makes you anxious, or what makes you feel good. Then act on this. In other words, a good way to help avoid social burnout is to accept who you are and what you are like; there is no need to be a social butterfly and no obligation to enjoy that next Christmas work or New Year’s Eve party. Even if others are or seem excited about them, just be you.
Be open about your feelings
Speak to bosses, colleagues, and family about only being available to attend the engagements that you are expected to. Be open and honest about how you are feeling. Explain that you have too many plans and are feeling drained.
Make diary adjustments
Look at your diary. What’s the week ahead looking like? Make adjustments if your schedule is looking hectic, then move things to other weeks to make it more manageable.
Change how and when you socialise by reducing the length and time of day that you meet. Don’t feel pressured to stay for a nightcap or dessert.
Don’t compare yourself
If you don’t feel like socialising, then show some interest in the people around you. But there’s no need to overdo it. You don’t need to be the life of the party or the person to have the stories. Be a good listener instead.
Just say “no”
You aren’t a party animal? Well, that’s fine, because you don’t have to be! If you do end up at that party, social function, or get-together, try to be yourself. Act in a way that seems genuine to you and is true to who you are and “how you are”. Besides that, social burnout may be caused by feeling obliged to socialise more or longer than is natural to you. Practise saying “no” to that next invitation if you feel you’re not up to it or just don’t feel like it! Accept your own valid argument that you need some downtime.