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Mindfulness

4 easy ways to avoid a Social Hangover

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What is a social hangover? Have you ever heard of it? And are you experiencing a social hangover? Read on to find 4 easy ways to avoid a social hangover and what to do if you’re having one.

The Urban Dictionary explains a Social Hangover like this:

Social Hangover

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.

A Social Hangover happens when you’re having a sensory overload

Meaning a social hangover comes from social over-stimulation. Something we all might experience these days, and while some are recharged from it (usually extroverts), others can feel drained by it.

With the various re-openings of bars, pubs, restaurants, the roll-out of the vaccine, and the impending warmer season of the year upon us life is screaming for social interaction. And rightly so. After a year, various lockdowns, and social interactions limited to zoom-calls (UGH!) and the occasional family visit (always with the due distance) it is just natural to crave new faces, deep talk in locations that you haven’t seen in maybe over a year. 

But can you handle this sudden explosion of socialness? From 0 to 100 within a couple of days? I know I can’t… Big crowds make me nervous, still! And there will be some getting used to this new social situation, some social hangovers for sure. But, don’t worry, there are things you can to do avoid a social hangover and remedies for when you happen to have one 😊

Friends on a mountain edge

Four easy ways to avoid a social hangover

Let’s cut to the chase; here’s a list of 4 easy ways to avoid a social hangover, now and in the coming months.

  1. Ease back into being social

Imagine you’re going back to the gym after a while (which you probably are). You’re not expecting to go back once and automatically jump back to the form and fitness you had when you stopped going to the gym, right? You ease back into exercise, make it fun, but also not too intense, nobody wants to feel so sore, that you stop again going to the gym altogether, am I right? The same goes for your social life. Go slow, meet up with only a few friends first. Maybe those faces you already are used to seeing on your zoom screen. It’ll be nice to socialize IRL. It is after all a different thing to speak and interact with a person in 3D, instead of 2D, and the flat screen of your laptop. And the best thing, you can skip the small talk, because you know each other already.

Do you recognize yourself as a person who sometimes deals with social hangovers? You might be an introvert… check out this guide to find out and get to know yourself better: The Introvert Life Guide! – Create Your Own Reality

  1. Plan your social events including some time off

When making plans for meetups, parties, long-overdue birthdays, etc., make sure you plan some Me-Time, or time off from socializing. You’ll need time to recharge after an intense weekend or social event with many people.

  1. Don’t forget who’s in control

You are the one person who chooses when to be social and for how long. YOU are in control. Don’t feel pressured into having to be social, just because seemingly everyone else is. Don’t be afraid to say “no” if things are getting just too much. Quality > Quantity.

Are you in control of your thoughts? Or are you excessively ruminating? Read this post about things you can do to stop ruminating!

  1. Create new rules that work for you

You established some new habits during the lockdown, for sure. Whether that is taking a long walk alone in the park, or meditating every day, doing yoga when you feel like it, baking banana bread (or baking in general 😉), or reading books before going to bed. These positive, new habits don’t have to disappear now that we’re able to be social again. Keep what you really like, adjust, and tweak your new routines to make the lockdown hobbies you benefit from fit as well.

And if social encounters make you anxious, a technique called Heart Coherence might be something that can help you! Read the post about it here!

Went all out and met up with ALL of your friends at once?

What if you went overboard hanging out with all your friends and are dealing with a social hangover? Treat it like an alcohol-induced hangover:

  • Keep your lights low
  • Make sure you avoid loud noises
  • Get some (more) rest
  • If you feel like it, do something you really enjoy: reading a book, meditating, going for a walk, listen to your favorite music (not too loud 😄)

Remember, nothing is wrong with you just because you are experiencing a social hangover. It will pass, eventually. And with the tips above you can make sure that it won’t happen again (or anytime soon).

Generally, social hangovers are something introverts are experiencing, but times are weird, and you don’t have to necessarily be an introvert to feel some kind of exhaustion after being very social. Enjoy the new ‘freedom’ responsibly 😊 and take care!

Are you someone who needs time to recharge after social events? Or are you energized after hanging out with lots of people? Let me know in the comment section 🤗

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