Do you ever come back from a social event (or even during) feeling exhausted, low energized and crave alone time?
This may happen due to having a low social battery! The social battery is a good way of conceptualizing a person’s energy for socializing. Some people feel more energized being around other people, while others can be left feeling tired, stressed, and overstimulated.
There are a couple of reasons for a depleted social battery; Surrounding yourself with certain types of people and personalities, the duration, size of the group, power imbalances etc.
Currently, there are more people than ever experiencing this, as we come back into some sort of normality since the start of the pandemic. People have spent the last two years unable to sociaise, be around big crowds, or go to events. They have become comfortable staying home, and only seeing a limited number of people, so it can be understood why so many are left feeling the so-called “social hangover” since restrictions have eased.
Ask yourself, do you ever experience these feelings during or after socializing?
- stressed or burned out
- less interested in talking than before
- a desire to go home or be somewhere familiar
- the need to do something quiet, such as reading or watching a film
Then you may identify as having a low social battery, and should make efforts to recharge, in ways that suit you. Ignoring your signs to recharge means you are not listening to and respecting your unique needs. Trying to fit in, guilt or fear of judgement are a few reasons why some people may push their limits. The most important thing is putting yourself first and doing what is best for you – the best form of self-care.
Here a few ways you can avoid running out of social battery and keep energized –
Take a mental note of how certain social interactions make you feel and how long it takes you to recharge. Take this into concern when planning and agreeing to plans.
- Make sure you have down time
Don’t overbook yourself! Make sure you block off time after events to allow you some alone time and to recharge.
- Learning exactly what kinds of activities re-energizes you!
- Varying between high / low intensity events.
If you have a big weekend of parties, perhaps plan something more chill and calm for the next weekend.
- Taking breaks.
Don’t be afraid to take some alone time during an event. Go off on a walk, take a nap, give yourself 30 minutes to replenish your energy.
Let those around you know that you have a low social battery, and not to feel disrespected if you leave early or skip an event. People will be understanding once you communicate!
These kinds of feelings can often be linked to social anxiety, but you do not have to have social anxiety to have a low social battery.
People who experience feeling drained due to social interactions are usually considered introverts. They still like to socialise and spend time with others, there is just a limit.
Social anxiety is more than just being shy or wanting to spend time alone, it is a recurring, intense fear of others watching and judging you and can affect everyday life, making it difficult to form and keep friendships, thrive at work, or engage in fun activities.
It is a useful tool to help people understand their response to social interactions, so they are in control, know how to fully recharge and not be negatively affected by them.