With Halloween and other mid-season holidays being celebrated this week, I am finding my social calendar filling up more than usual. Add some friends visiting, and trying to find an apartment and you can imagine how busy my days have been getting.
I remember once a friend living with CFS talking to me about her anxieties about going out. She felt like she could never go out, because if she went out for dinner she would then be expected to go for drinks, and then to a club, and then to a party, and not make it home until the wee hours of the night. This fear of her own expectations were stopping her from enjoying a social life at all. CFS can isolate you enough, there’s no need to let fear and unrealistic expectations isolate you even more!
While introverted, I am quite a social person, and like to spend a good amount of time with friends or out and about in the city each week. But what do I do when I am feeling low on energy? Here are a few tips on getting through the holiday season:
1.Bring the party to you
Feel like moving from the couch to the bed zapped most of your movement cards for the day? Move no further! Invite a few friends over to your house for a fun themed party. Maybe you’ve got you’re favourite Halloween flick that you can throw on with some popcorn and drinks, or maybe you want to have a small potluck (bonus: you won’t have to cook!). Since you’ve been so gracious to host the party at your house, I’m sure your friends will be more than happy to help tidy up.
2. Plan easy activities
Maybe all your friends want to go to a costume party for Halloween, skip out on that, but invite them to go to the cinema for a midnight horror screening the next night. If everyone is heading out for Guy Fawkes day, join them in the park for a bonfire and fireworks, and skip the drinks afterwards. Don’t put pressure on yourself to participate in everything!
3.First in, first out
There’s no shame in going home early, especially if you were the first to show up! Head out to the pub, and set your limits before you arrive. Maybe you will stay for one hour, one or two drinks, or until the party is going to change locations. Base it on how you’re feeling- and you can always change your mind and stay a little longer or a little shorter once you arrive!
4.Make a plan and stick to it
As mentioned above, set a time limit for yourself if this is helpful. The more you can plan what will be manageable for you beforehand, the easier it will be once you actually arrive at the party. I often find it easier to only talk to people that I already know, or set a limit of people I am willing to talk to throughout the night. Meeting new people and small talk can be exhausting, but having a good conversation with an old friend can be re-energizing.
I find that even on some of my worst days, getting to spend time with friends and family around the holidays can boost my mood and energy level. So go out, enjoy, and don’t feel guilty about changing the social rules.