Two things stand out when we talk about busyness: we’ve glorified an “I’m always busy” attitude as a sign of success, and we usually associate this mindset with work.
Little do we talk about being busy socially.
You do your best to attend as many events as possible, meet all the cool people and always say “yes” to your friends when they need you. But in your attempt to stay connected, you end up feeling disconnected from both yourself and others. This is because a hectic social life takes joy and pleasure out of you the same way busy work life does. It’s self-harming and based on the scarcity mindset, attempts to prove yourself and FOMO.
The good news is that your life can be full and rich without feeling busy. You can move slowly and learn to truly enjoy your time with others by choosing little acts of self-care like staying in when you don’t feel like going out or saying no to a third networking event that week. You can choose yourself over the illusion of a rich and vibrant social life. There will never be enough time to meet all the people and attend all the events anyway, so don’t wait until you feel exhausted to take time for yourself.
How do you know that you are exhausted?
In her book A Recipe for More, Sara Elise gives a list of exhaustion cues to help you identify when it’s time for R&R. If you apply them in the context of your social life, the list looks like this:
- Seeing people doesn’t bring fulfillment and satisfaction
- You feel tired about plans you made and you don’t look forward to them
- Everything feels forced
- It’s hard to regulate emotions
- You feel that you committed to more than you can handle
- It’s hard to be present and focused
What to do to get proper rest:
- Embrace solitude
- Do something unproductive
- Don’t be helpful
- Take a break from responsibility
- Have alone time at home
- Find stillness to decompress