Are you feeling that holiday cheer yet, my friend?
This time of year abounds with potlucks, holiday parties, family dinners, crowded malls... just people and noise, everywhere you look!
The energy of this season definitely lends to a sparkly "festive" feeling, which can be super fun. But if you're an introvert or highly sensitive person like me (or just someone who values quiet evenings at home!), it can also be a tad overwhelming.
I'm here to remind you that being healthy over the holiday season isn't just about resisting that second piece of cheesecake at your best friend's potluck - it's also about maintaining social well-being.
Having a balanced social life and supportive folks who you feel energized around is crucial for creating good mental health, managing stress, and nurturing positive life habits.
I know this to be true all-year-round, but it's especially important during this time of year. The holidays are already a tough time for some of us; ain't nobody got time for more drama!
So how can we make sure our social life is a healthy one, especially around this time of year when socializing intensifies? Well, by creating social situations that are actually energizing and meaningful to us.
Ask yourself these questions when planning or preparing for the various parties, dinners, and potlucks over the next month:
1. Who do I enjoy being around?
(Or do I actually enjoy being around the people I'll be with?)
It's energizing to be with people who you feel like you can be yourself around, who you naturally engage in interesting dialogue with, and who aren't overwhelmingly hyper or stupidly drunk every time you see them! I truly believe the world is chock full of quality people, but that doesn't mean we actually "jive" with them. It may seem obvious, but this bears repeating because I can bet that some of us know to do this but aren't actually doing it: make sure you spend most of your precious time and energy with people who you actually vibe with. Because life is just. too. short.
2. Where do I most enjoy meeting up with people?
Our surroundings affect our mood and energy in a very real way. Be careful about spending too much time in places that deplete you or make you irritable. Think about where you can connect most deeply with your important others, or have the most fun. For some folks, a rowdy bar setting is where they feel most alive, while other folks prefer a calm coffee shop where they can easily hear the conversation. Don't be shy about suggesting or creating a social environment that suits your preferences so you can be your most engaged self.
3. How long or how often do I want to hang out?
This is an exercise in priorities. Maybe you've been invited to three get-togethers this week, you need your alone time to recharge, or you want to balance social obligations with spending quality time with loved ones. Again, our time and energy is finite, because even though we're super-awesome, we're not super-human. If we don't know and respect our own boundaries, we'll do things like burn out from oversocializing or neglect time with folks who we really care about. Set boundaries around how you spend your time so can have energy for what (or who) really matters.
(Besides, leaving the party early-ish might help you avoid that moment a drunk uncle starts rehashing the family drama.)
In short, be intentional about the people, ambiance, and timing that you choose for your social interactions this season. Not only would this help you stay around positive people, but this would help you stay positive because you're actually attending to your own needs!
As a grown ass woman, you are ultimately the one in charge of your social life. Spend good times with good people in memorable places.
Trust your body: you will feel energized when you're with the right people, in the right place, at the right time. And conversely, you'll feel drained or tense if you're not.
The ultimate goal, of course, is to enjoy healthy relationships that serve everyone involved.
So my wish for us is this: may we all enjoy the types of relationships that hold space for our quirks, challenge us to grow into our potential, and energize us to pursue our dreams.
Cheers to good times with good people,
P.S. Want more on how to create a healthy social life? Read 8 Habits of a Healthy Introvert.