156: Is your social life burning you out? (Especially post-Covid)
You may heard me talk about covid fatigue last year during lockdown, where I touched on decision making, being homesick, the unknown, and how this was really taxing on our adrenals. Now (post-Covid) a lot of us have started to get, or will get, covid fatigue from socialising again.
Don't get me wrong, I'm beyond ecstatic to be socialising again and I’ve loved every minute of it. Equally, I've doing this without my own space whilst living in a hotel, so it’s been quite a ungrounding experience also.
In this episode I dive into covid fatigue, how to notice the signs, and the things you can do to protect your energy.
I also wrote an article in my latest issue of UNEDITED on post-Covid fatigue, my predictions and why I think it's inevitable we'll all feel the effects of being a social butterfly.
Why is our social life burning us out?
For the majority of 2020/21, we've been a hermit, so our nervous systems have become used to not socialising, having a very relaxed life, having quiet evenings and weekends and having fairly reduced stimulation compared to your normal life. I'm sure you noticed changes in yourself during this time, just like I did...
For example, during Covid, I became sensitive to stimulation, loud music or noise from the TV, too many people. This was new for me, as I’ve never found it draining to be around a lot of people as I’m an extrovert and get my energy off other people. However, coming to NYC, and even walking around Soho, I’m had times where I've felt exhausted from being around so many people, and quite frankly, it's been too much!
The key is, nipping it in the bud before it gets bad.
A lot of city people will understand how the stimulus of NYC on your nervous system means you really need to relax when you get home. Something I've noticed is a lot of people don’t know how to switch off, but wine does it for them and this is their means of relaxing. Alcohol is a big part of the culture here, but it’s also part of the vibe. Don't get me wrong, I definitely drink more than usual in NYC (and it's totally by choice). If it's a beautiful sunny evening, it's so nice to have a glass of Rosé and I'm here for it.
Let's be real. You wanna go guns blazing for a slutty summer. It’s going to start this way and it's going to end as a messy fucking winter when you’re in hibernation mode because you're burnt out as fuck from socialising.
It's going to be like Christmas on steroids. There's going to be lot's of drinking, parties, socialising, going out for dinner and a lot of energy exerted from being so go, go, go!
You may notice that you're battling mentally with the rise and fall of serotonin. For example when you go out for dinner with your gf's, thats a huge surge of serotonin and dopamine (those happy hormones). Afterwards, you'll have what feels like a huge drop off (which is the low after the high). What I want you to be really aware of is your brain during this time. You might dip into what feels like depression or anxiety, and it's actually because your brain hasn't felt this high in so long. You'll. get addicted to it, because as humans we've been deprived from it for so long.
So, what can you be doing to counteract the effects of this and protect your energy?
1. Space out your social calendar.
It’ll allow you to have the downtime you need between the highs, but also make you feel like you’re not alone by avoiding having intense periods of socialising and then extended periods of downtime. It's important to manage your brain chemicals during this weird time.
2. Understand that good stress can still cause burnout.
Often with good stress, you don’t recognise it as stress on your body. For example, good stress for me are my events. Even though I’m having the best time, my body for 3 days straight is releasing cortisol (because it’s still a stress on your body). If you’re constantly in a state of extreme excitement, your body is still going to get exhausted from overdoing it.
3. Be aware that our health habits may slip.
Our slutty summers are going to feel more important than sleeping 10 hours, because we’ve had all of 2020 to do this. For example, you’ll forget about taking your supplements and you may experience cramps, bloating, gut health issues, skin breakouts etc. and then you’re going to have a period from hell a couple of months later. Why? Because you’re stressed without realising it as you’re having so much fun.
4. Find a healthy dance between socialising and recharging.
You're going to be spending a lot of time working, commuting, travelling, parting, over-socialising, so it's important to cultivate a healthy relationship with spending time alone at home. A lot of you will experience FOMO from not going out because you’ve been deprived of it for so long. You actually need to be mindful of this and change your outlook to see how glad you are to have these chill, self care nights. These are boundaries you need to hold for yourself to protect your energy.
5. Learn how to read your monthly report card.
When you are really stressed, you release high levels of cortisol. This affects your gut health, and your brain communication pathways to your ovaries. This is what affects your period and circulation, and can cause blood clots, cramps, brown blood, spotting, late and early periods, bad pms and reduced your progesterone levels (which you need to have a beautiful period). It's important that we understand how can we manage our health and also enjoy this slutty summer. To learn more, join Your Perfect Period.
6. Get those ZZZ's and don't over do-it.
This will come as no surprise, sleep is really important and so is not overdoing it on the exercise. Our bodies thrive of living in a cycle. Going to bed at the same time, waking up at the same time, having meals at the same time, these are all things our bodies will love us for, in order to feel safe and function properly.
7. Make your home an oasis.
Honour the nights when you're alone. Don't jump straight onto Netflix as this is still a stimulation. Have beautiful baths, long showers, go to bed early, do breathwork. Your body needs time to regenerate and restore.
8. Be mindful of your body.
It's simple. You can still go out, indulge and look after yourself. Don’t drink if you don’t want to drink. Eat out at clean restaurants which will support your gut health, skin, collagen production etc. Only take your supplements and adaptogens when you need them, and remember, these will help support your body but will only help you so far. You need to find the root cause of your problems.
9. Be in the present moment.
Be conscious and present when you’re out having fun, not on your phone. Phones can seriously affect intimacy with other people. Keep your phone in your bag and stay off social media whilst you're out actually socialising. No part of it should be for Instagram, you have nothing to prove.
10. Know your unique signs.
Recognise the signs of when you're starting to burn out. For me, it’s a sore throat. My body knows that the only way for me to slow down, is to take my voice away. For you, it could be your skin breaking out, not being able to fall asleep, bloating, sore knees etc. Know your signs and nip them in the bud before it gets worse.
Recognise your unique signs of burnout, and nip them in the bud!
Slutty summer is going to be like Christmas on steroids - protect your energy!