You know how when you’ve taken an extended break from the gym? You have to ease your way back into exercising or you’ll feel like you’ve been hit by a truck the next day. What we’re finding out is that it’s the same thing for our socializing muscles. Now that things are opening back up, people are trying to party like it’s 2019, but finding out they can’t hang.
But don’t feel bad if you feel like you need to leave brunch to take a nap. According to psychologist Lee Chambers, “feeling a level of social exhaustion right now is completely normal.” We’re all simply a bit out of practice on our social skills and Chambers says that “shaking of the rust is draining.” Nothing against Zoom but it simply does not compare to all the senses you’ve got to use in real life.
While it may feel like you have to accept every invite that comes your way to make up for lost time, the experts agree that you need to factor in time off to recover from social exhaustion. Chambers recommends thinking of your social life as a mobile phone where “the brighter the screen, the more rapidly we lose that charge.” Going out is like using your phone at full blast. Max settings, max battery, max volume. You need to give yourself time to recharge because the lockdown has made our “battery” capacities lower than ever.
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