HomeNews & Media CentreNewsRecharging your Social Batteries – and the art of saying ‘No’

Recharging your Social Batteries – and the art of saying ‘No’

Christmas can often be a chaotic time with one celebratory catch-up after another. It’s all about fun and festivities with family and friends – but it can also be fatiguing! Spending time with loved ones is good for the soul, but it can take a toll.

It’s important for your health and wellbeing to not overdo things at Christmas – and we’re not just talking about grandma’s boozy trifle! If you are over-tired and over-stressed, you won’t be much fun to be around – and, chances are, you won’t enjoy yourself.

Sometimes we need to take a break to recharge our social batteries.

What is social energy?

As songwriter and “slow coach” Andy Mort explains, “social energy is the fuel that helps us connect with the world around us”. But many things – including interacting with other people and their varying levels of social energy – can drain our social batteries, especially for introverts or highly sensitive people. It’s important to balance stimulation with rest.

Recharging your batteries

Sometimes we need to say “no” – but it can be very challenging, especially around Christmas when we are often expected to spend time with family and friends we only see once a year. But, as the Contagious Enthusiasm Wellness Centre reminds us, saying “no” is not about being selfish, it is about “choosing to prioritise your mental wellbeing and overall health”.
“Allowing yourself to say ‘no’ without guilt will ultimately keep your social battery going stronger for longer,” it says.

How to say “no”.

The first step is to know your limits and set boundaries. This will depend on personal needs – you know you best! The key is to be honest with yourself. Sometimes it might be the number of events, or the type or people involved – it’s important that you don’t accept an invitation from anyone who doesn’t make you feel good about yourself.
Once you have set your boundaries, the five simple steps to saying no are:

  • RSVP ASAP and, if you are hesitant, say no immediately rather than leave it to the last minute, which can be considered rude
  • Tell them you value their invitation but unfortunately it isn’t possible for you to attend – a white lie (I’m already busy, even if you are not) can sometimes help
  • Keep it short and sweet – long-winded excuses sound can sound like a lie, even if they’re not
  • If it is someone you really do like, make plans to catch up another time – true friends are there for you all year, not just at Christmas!

Now what?

Having turned down an invitation because you need to recharge your social batteries, make sure you do! Get some rest, or some much-needed exercise. Meditate or read a book, whatever it is YOU need to do. The best Christmas gift to yourself is taking care of your own wellbeing.

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