After a long week, there is nothing better than blowing off steam with friends over dinner or enjoying a leisurely brunch. Socializing and spending time with others is simply human nature. We are built to want to be around others. Having close relationships as well as social connection is important for our wellbeing and happiness. However, there are times when our social world takes over, interfering with our life balance. Next thing we know the weekend is over and the only thing accomplished was a hangover and low bank account.
Many of us suffer from the fear of missing out or being disconnected from our people. We are so afraid to miss out on a social event, believing that we will miss out on a fulfilling experience or be excluded from the group. Therefore, we often overexert ourselves, packing our social calendars with far too many events. By spreading yourself too thin, other areas in your life can be negatively affected, including your health, career, and finances. Your outer world might be absolutely fabulous and flourishing, yet your inner world is chaotic. We tend to neglect ourselves, our needs, for the sake of keeping up. However, sometimes we need to let go in order to achieve a more stable life.
So, how does one find balance in a social world? Here are 4 ways to find that happy balance between being social and in control of your life.
1. Set Your Priorities
If you find that your personal goals have taken a backseat due to your social life, it might be time to reprioritize. Getting in the habit of continually putting off tasks and goals will eventually become a permanent behavior. In turn, your goals will never get accomplished. I’ve had people tell me how they would like to lose weight, start a blog, or start a new business yet can’t seem to find the time. However, the time has been found to go bars and weekly dinners. I’m not saying it’s bad to go outm but if you want to accomplish your goals, sacrifices have to be made. During grad school I used to make a deal with myself that I could only go out once all of my work was completed. Try making a list of must-dos for the week, allotting certain times to work on your goals. Make this time a nonnegotiable. You’ll feel so much lighter being out with friends knowing that you accomplished your list for the week.
2. Take Care of Your Body
Late nights, booze-filled parties, and the weekly Mexican dinner can wreck havoc on your body. Being overly social can make even the healthiest person sleep deprived and eventually run down with a weakened immune system. If you find that your social life is wearing you down, listen to your body. Your body will give you clues if you are pushing it too hard or not taking care of it properly such as dull/blemished skin, dehydration, digestive issues, and an unclear mental state. Staying healthy in a social world can easily be done by continually remaining mindful about proper sleep, a balanced diet, and moderation.
3. Personal Time
Between work, family, and social gatherings, it can be hard to fit in time for yourself. If you can’t remember the last time you did something for you, it’s time to make a date with yourself. Being social is fun; however, it is also important to recharge your mind with solitude. If you start to neglect time for yourself or passions, your identity begins to slip away and there is a feeling of disconnect. Make time to feed your passion, explore new hobbies, and get to know yourself. Eckhart Tolle says it best: “When you lose touch with your inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself. When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world.“
4. Social Media Detox
In addition to human interaction, social media is a major part of social contact and connection. Social media is a fantastic way to stay connected to friends and loved ones, yet also has the ability to distract us from relationships, productivity, and being present. Our devices are beginning to control our lives, causing a strange sense of attachment. Social media is constantly present; it’s the first thing we check in the morning and the last thing we see at night. With our eyes scrolling the Facebook feed, we are watching life from afar but forgetting to be present for our own life. In return, hours are wasted, focus is minimal, and disengagement is high. Sometimes it’s good to put the phone down and refocus.
Have you struggled to find balance between a social life and personal growth? What has helped you?
Also by Jess: 4 Ways to Overcome Failure
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Photo: Valeria Hernandez via Pinterest