Since the pandemic, many of us have noticed our social batteries are running lower than usual. As we have acclimatised back to the everyday runnings of the world over the past year, many of us have felt that we have over socialised, and seeing our friends is sometimes becoming an exhausting chore. But how can we recharge our social batteries ahead of summer plans?
Reebok has outlined the best exercises to do when feeling social burnout and partnered with experts to reveal how to cope with a social hangover.
Social burnout occurs when you have socialised to the point that you begin to experience social fatigue. Farren Morgan, soldier and head coach at The Tactical Athlete, outlines that social burnout can present itself in extreme fatigue which will affect people mentally, physically, and emotionally.
With multiple bank holidays and summer plans on the horizon, the possibility of social burnout is higher than ever. But as Joe Mitton, founder of Mittfit, outlines, exercising can help alleviate burnout and reduce feelings of stress as exercise releases dopamine and serotonin which both help in improving mood and sleep, which can, in turn, reduce social burnout. But what are the best exercises to do when you feel burnt out?
Yoga is an excellent stress-relief exercise which involves moving meditations, stationary poses, or postures, which are further combined with deep breathing techniques. Yoga helps bring more focus and awareness to our breathing, which has physical and psychological benefits. When we are stressed, we often shorten our breathing. Learning to regulate your breathing correctly and calmly is an excellent transferable skill you can incorporate into your everyday life.
‘Walking helps stretch and strengthen muscles and is also beneficial for the hippocampus – which is the part of the brain that acts as a brake on the stress response,’ says Ruth Cooper-Dickson, positive psychologist. If you feel anxious or socially burnout, why not try walking to your plans? This will reduce your stress and provide you with some essential ‘me’ time to redirect some of your energy to yourself instead of others.
‘Dancing is a great exercise for activating GABBA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) – this is an amino acid whose purpose is to calm the brain and act as a fire extinguisher to enable brain cells to suppress their activities,’ comments Ruth Cooper-Dickson. If you want to incorporate this into your social plans, you can go out dancing with your friends this summer. Various bottomless brunches and garden parties across the country can offer this to you and your friendship group.
The most effective exercise to cope with social burnout is high-intensity interval training. Farren Morgan, soldier and head coach at The Tactical Athlete, states: ‘Exercises that produce the sweat are the best because of their high intensity, and the mental and physical challenge they place upon the body.’
Farren has designed a HIIT training circuit that will effectively reduce social burnout.
Try out this set of exercises after three minutes of dynamic stretching. The exercise should take 12 minutes to complete with 20 seconds working out, 10 seconds resting between each exercise, and two sets being done per exercise:
- pop squats
- high knees
- walk downs
- lateral jumps
- star jumps
Boxing effectively reduces social burnout as it requires our full concentration, which encourages us to switch off from the outside world. Boxing also reduces stress by teaching you proper breathing techniques, building confidence, and giving you an instant energy boost. Punching also helps to relieve muscle tension and even improve your confidence, making you more capable of dealing with stressful or challenging situations.
Social burnout can present itself in many ways, and we must recognise when we need to take a step back and concentrate our time on ourselves. As Farren Morgan outlines: ‘Exercising is a great way to detach because it requires your full attention, relieves stress, and leads to a more positive and clearer mindset.’ However, you can also reduce these feelings by taking a few minutes for yourself throughout the day or cancelling plans when you are mentally exhausted.