If you're an introvert, have social anxiety that makes going out a challenge, or simply are maintaining a super stacked up schedule, one of the hardest parts of making it through the holiday season is figuring out what to do with all those party and event invites. Attending a string of holiday parties all month can wipe you out so easily.
Getting out the door and showing up is only half the battle, though—how you deal with the exhaustion afterwards is an entirely different story. Recovering from post-party burnout requires a lot of prioritizing and self-care, but if you've made it this far, here are a few tips on how to deal.
Use your momentum at home
You've used up a lot of energy going from party to party and event to event, so it's tempting to just drop and relax the second you don't have plans. Try to resist that temptation, though— wind down by using the momentum and the built up energy from all your socializing to help get your home in order in preparation for actual time off in the weeks ahead.
If that sounds like too daunting a task, think about it this way—if you can keep on top of chores at home and possibly even cook some meals in advance, you can spend more of your time off in total relaxation mode, no chores necessary. This works even in small increments - every little bit done ahead makes for a more relaxing holiday break later - but don't worry about doing it all. We all know how easily things can fall by the wayside when your social calendar gets too full—but any efforts you can make to keep things in balance will help you to feel in control and more able to enjoy the season.
Don't be afraid to say "no"
If you're already feeling totally zapped, don't force yourself to say yes to last-minute invites just because you feel obligated or you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Your friends and loved ones will understand, especially if you didn't know about their party or event weeks in advance.
You don't have to explain how you're feeling if you don't want to—all you have to say is that you already had plans, or that you're busy, but wish you could make it. Wish them well, and, if you feel bad because the invite you're turning down is from someone you genuinely want to spend time with when you're feeling less overwhelmed, offer to make plans with them later, after the holidays.
Plan some self-care time just for you
If you're able to, set aside a few nights or a full weekend day where you make absolutely no plans except to spend some quality time with yourself. Anything goes, just make sure you only do things that will make you feel better—if that means taking a hot bath, watching a marathon of your favorite TV shows, working on DIY projects or even going on a little retreat out of town—so be it. Do whatever feels like the right kind of self-care for you, and enjoy.
Take a few minutes to actually plan small things you can do on your own that will make you feel relaxed and comfortable from now through the start of the new year—that way you can try to regain some of your energy and get back into your comfort zone a little bit at a time.