Most people on a Sunday morning are probably dealing with a hangover due to their consumption of alcohol over the weekend. Deep down you kind of wish you were that person but instead you’re at home feeling lethargic and sluggish because you socialised too much the week before.
For many years I have dealt with this draining feeling and not fully understanding why I felt so exhausted. After long periods of socialising it would take me days to recover. In those times I would be extremely unproductive, frustrated [probably at my unproductiveness] and mentally drained. I would liken it to feeling like a zombie… I was alive and breathing but I still couldn’t seem to function properly.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy meeting up with my friends and having inspiring conversations with them, I love hearing their stories and connecting with them on a true and authentic level. It’s just if I do this too much then the after effects really take a toll on me.
It wasn’t until I read Quiet by Susan Cain [You’ll know that this book basically changed my life – 2nd to the bible of course] that I realised that I was experiencing something more common than I had previously thought. It wasn’t social anxiety, it wasn’t a mental break down but rather a social hangover because I had over exerted myself too much and I needed time to recharge.
Trust me; social hangovers are a real thing.
Urban Dictionary definition says [because this is obviously a credible source and is on par with the Oxford dictionary…]
“The worn out, spent, or run-down sensation experienced after being around a lot of people. Some people even experience headaches and body aches similar to those associated with an alcohol based hangover, even when they did not consume any alcohol to cause one. Common to introverted people”.
I now know that being an introvert means guarding my energy. It’s about being careful to find that balance between socialising and reflecting because too much of one is never a good thing.
But as ambitious introverts I can accept that we can’t always be in our house behind our laptops bashing away at the keyboard. Sometimes we need to go out and experience what’s out in the world, especially if we’re trying to build our empires. Business calls, meetings and networking events all keep things moving forward and we absolutely need to do all of this for the sake of our progression. But as an introvert we need to understand our limits.
An introverted person focuses inwardly rather than outwardly. Our energy is always gained from introspection rather than from external surroundings. So it may sound obvious, but when you’re feeling socially hungover have some time out!
I’ve put together some things I use when I feel drained after a lot of social interaction (in no particular order)
Disclaimer: Particularly if you have an extroverted partner or parents. Please reassure them that you’re having some well needed time out to recharge. Extraverts tend not to understand why someone would happily lock themselves in their room for a day or two but just reassure them it’s for a good cause
It doesn’t matter if you’re religious or not, spending time alone to reflect and tune into a higher power greater than yourself is absolutely key to healing and nourishing your soul.
If you’ve never done meditation before there are so many guided videos that will help (1). Word of warning, you may want to do this nearer bedtime as I find it really relaxes me and all I want to do is sleep afterwards.
[If this is at all too ‘spiritual’ for you, you don’t have to do it but I do urge you to have a moment of quiet away from all the noise.
2. Read/Watch Inspirational Content
Watching something informative or inspirational will allow you to still relax but still feel like your mind is being nourished. I wouldn’t necessarily suggest a ‘Netflix and chill’ session. If you’re anything like me then watching endless hours of a Netflix series ends up frustrating you. Even though you don’t have the mental strength to do much else you still cannot justify watching 5 hours of Stranger Things.
So refill your mind with as many positive and inspirational things as you can. Watch something that you enjoy and can make you feel happy without you having to socialise with a soul.
Even if you’re not a creative person I would urge you to create something. That could be something as simple as doodling in a sketch book or actually making something with your hands. Even writing down your thoughts and feelings in a journal can really help. That’s still creating something, you’re creating your memoir, you’re potentially creating content for a blog post you want to write or even a book idea you’ve been sitting on.
I find that after hours of consuming, I need to create. I need to release all the information I’ve consumed. It’s a natural reaction for me and if you’re the same then you’ll know when to move from consuming to creating. Usually once you feel the urge to create or produce something that means you’re on the mend and that nasty social hangover will disappear before you know it.
Time to resurface
Only once you’ve done these things and feel ready to take on the world again should you resurface from your room.
Prevention is better than cure
However, the saying goes ‘prevention is better than cure’ and it is best to prevent a social hangover before it arises. Limit your social interaction. Only do the things that are necessary or will provide you with true enjoyment. Self-care and self-awareness is the key to a happy life!
Have you ever experienced a social hangover? What do you do? Share below
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- Guided Meditation – Blissful Deep Relaxation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jyy0ra2WcQQ