Social burnout can be a reality for anyone, but if being around people stresses you out, it can feel like a tidal wave just waiting to knock you down.
The good news? You can totally do something about it.
By adopting healthy habits you can avoid meltdowns, keeping your tank full so that when you do connect with others, it’ll actually be fruitful.
Have you ever heard something like this?
Don’t freak out, just talk to people. It’s not that hard!”
The sink-or-swim mentality forces you to ignore your struggles, but this alarming approach isn’t healthy or maintainable. Yes, at some point you do need to actually talk to other humans, but without game-changing strategies or healthy boundaries in place, you’ll be back in panic mode in a hot second.
I won’t let that happen to you, deal?
Here are some solid tools that will help create a safe place for you to rest and recover as you beef up your social muscles.
How To Avoid Social Burnout When People Give You Anxiety
Invest in self-care.
Only you know what types of self-care fill your tank, so be honest with yourself and carve out space for them in your life.
Your friend may be all about the spa day, but if you’re more the ice cream and Netflix on the couch kinda gal, GET. IT. (P.S. For the record, that’s totally me.) I give you full permission to buck the stereotypes and take what YOU need to keep mentally, physically and, yes, socially healthy.
Self-care may seem unrelated to your social energy, but the two definitely go hand in hand and here’s why. If you’re not regularly taking time to care for your own needs, it’s virtually impossible to consistently contribute anything valuable to a relationship.
Sound far-fetched? Think about it.
Pretty much every area of our lives requires us to be healthy as our own person before we can effectively engage. Fitness? Gotta eat right and sleep enough. Education? You can have the best teachers and information in the world but if you’re not willing to work, it won’t matter. Marriage? Don’t expect your partner to fulfill your every need, that’s not their job!
Notice the pattern: YOU need to take responsibility for YOU in every area of your life in order to see positive results.
Socially? Same deal.
Investing in self-care so you can be a healthy person makes you more generous, confident, socially attractive, genuine, and able to add value to those around you. When it comes to having a thriving social life, self-care is crucial!
Give yourself guilt-free alone time.
While this seems like it should be lumped in with self care, guilt-free alone time is so crucial it 100% deserves its own category.
When people-ing wears you down, you must take time away to recharge your batteries. There is nothing wrong with this.
Go back and read those last two sentences again. I’ll wait.
A lot of people will make you feel bad for stepping back and carving out quiet space for yourself. If someone does that, walk away, girlfriend. You don’t need that negativity in your life!
Sure, alone time allows you to dive into whatever self-care practices float your boat, but the true reason is uber simple:
Giving yourself a break from what stresses you out is HEALTHY.
Experts will tell you small breaks from stressors are a healthy part of any growth process. As you stretch your social muscles, be sure to rest them too. You’ll be able to grow stronger and faster if you give yourself a break without the guilt.
Important Caveat: Alone time is healthy, but only when it’s balanced with social interaction. Don’t use “needing alone time to recharge” as an excuse to retreat into your own world and never engage. That’s unhealthy and will only further isolate and hurt you.
Just because you’re trying to become more socially skilled doesn’t mean every person you meet will be a healthy person to hang with. Saying yes to back-to-back events every week? That’s not gonna serve you well.
If being around a certain person doesn’t make you feel great, or they don’t empower you to be your best self, it’s ok to politely turn down invites. Have you been stretching your social muscles by hanging out with others a lot lately? It’s ok to cheerfully say “no thanks” and stay in.
Healthy boundaries not only protect you but they bless others by allowing you to give a full, healthy version of yourself when you do join in the fun.
Have a solid support system.
News Flash: Not everyone you know will be someone who builds you up.
Guess what? That’s normal.
The key is to make sure that your closest buddies are truly cheering you on, encouraging you, and celebrating who you already are while lovingly empowering you to grow. Who you choose to spend the majority of your time with deeply influences who you become, so keep a trusted posse of friends who push you towards growth while respecting your boundaries.
Yeah, it’s a delicate balance and it does take some effort to find friends like this, but if you put in the work, your growth (in all areas) will skyrocket.
Celebrate your natural strengths.
In case no one’s told you yet today, YOU ARE ALREADY REALLY REALLY COOL.
Sure, you have stuff you want to work on (don’t we all), but there is a ton about you that you’re already doing right. In the midst of thriving for growth, don’t forget to celebrate the habits, skills and mindsets you’ve already mastered.
Not all of life needs to be about pushing to do better. Remember that.
Don’t forget that baby steps are valuable.
Big leaps get all the big press, but that’s not actually where the magic is made.
Real, lasting change is made up of a bunch of little choices peppered throughout your day, your week, and your life. Consistent steps in the right direction are huge in helping you reach your goals.
Getting coffee? Flex your social savvy and say “how’s your day going so far?” to the barista. In the elevator with your neighbor you never really talk to? Smile and compliment their cool bag. If you see someone you’ve been wanting to meet, be bold and say “hey, I’ve seen you around but never got to introduce myself. I’m Jess!” Small moments. Small choices. Big impact.
Yes, big moves make big waves, but little steps, all linked together, add up to powerful progress.
You can do this.
As you grow stronger in your social skills, being around people will stress you out less and less, but during the growth process it’s incredibly important to take care of yourself. You’re trying a lot of hard, new things and you deserve to rest and recoup before diving in again.
Setting up healthy boundaries is a learning process in itself, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to lock them into place. The fact that you’re reading this means you’re invested in your future, and I’m proud of you for seeking out tools to keep you healthy on your journey!
All growth takes time, but if your current pace is frustrating you, I’d love to help. For ambitious women looking to grow their social skills with expert-level guidance, curated materials and personalized help, my coaching program will get you real results, faster. If that’s you, pull up a chair – I’ve been waiting for you, friend!