What is the introvert hangover and how can I recover from it?

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Tips on how to recover from an introvert hangover

Have you ever felt so drained after a busy day?

That you can barely keep your eyes open but your friend or partner wants to keep on going? This may be because you are experiencing an introvert hangover.

This feeling can be tough especially when you don’t want to be perceived as lame or boring. I know I used to power through no matter how tired I felt to avoid being judged. 

This circles back around to my lack of boundaries and self-worth a few years back but once I started doing the inner work and discovering that I was an introvert, I felt way more confident being myself. 

Since I now know that I am an introvert, I’ve learned that social interaction can be especially draining for me and it’s completely normal. So I’ve found ways to recharge my batteries so I can now shine at parties and I don’t have to sleep it off the next day. 

Having the self-awareness to know that I need this has been so empowering and has made my life that much better. 

What is an introvert hangover?

To put it simply, it is when you’ve reached your socializing limits. Your batteries are depleted and you need alone time ASAP. After all, introverts get their energy by looking inward so if there is a lot going on around them, that energy tends to deplete quickly. 

It’s called an introvert hangover for a reason because it is similar to a hangover you get after a night out with a few too many glasses of wine (or your drink of preference). 

You’re tired, your head hurts, you may be zoning out, and you’re ready for bed to name a few. 

While you probably won’t get physically sick or dizzy, it can definitely put a damper on your plans. 

However, social exhaustion isn’t just a problem for introverts

I don’t want you to think that hitting your limit is just an introverted problem. So don’t think that being introverted puts you at a disadvantage. It most definitely does not, there are so many benefits to being an introvert

Everyone gets social burnout at some point, even extroverts. After all, do you know anyone who can talk literally forever? (I know it might feel like it but eventually, they will stop talking). 

Extroverts do experience a dopamine effect, aka the feel-good neurotransmitter in our brains, that causes them to feel more on a high than introverts after socializing. 

This explains why extroverts oftentimes thrive at parties. They’re looking for that high feeling. The high introverts may feel when they get lost in a good book for example. It’s just how our brains are wired differently.

However, socializing can be exhausting for everyone because it requires a lot of energy. Since introverts are more observant and take in everything around them, their energy will drain much faster. 

Which is why the introvert hangover exists. 

What are the signs that you’ve reached your socializing limit?

So now that we know that the introvert hangover exists, how do you figure out your limit? 

Because it is helpful to recognize when you’ve hit your social limit so you don’t go too far down the rabbit hole. Then you can set some boundaries on when you need to leave social events. 

If you’re able to build the self-awareness to discover when enough is enough then you’ll start to actually enjoy going to parties and going out into the world. 

Of course, with anything, this is going to take a little trial and error to find your limit but it is worth it. 

So if you aren’t sure what the signs are, here are some:

1. You’re tired

One of the first telltale signs is that you begin to feel tired. You may begin to say the wrong thing or struggle to get your thoughts together. 

I often start saying different words than what I’m thinking, or I don’t make sense at all. It almost comes across like I am actually drunk from alcohol. 

I just can’t get my thoughts together anymore. It’s hard to articulate anything which is definitely a problem when you’re around people.

2. Unable to focus

After a while, you may realize that you have a really hard time paying attention to the conversations around you. It’s like no matter how hard you try, your brain is drifting off to a faraway land. 

You may even zone out. This can be embarrassing since you’re just staring off into space and it isn’t something that you can hide which happens. But it’s okay! It’s just a sign that it is time for you to go. 

Your body is craving alone time. 

3. You’re having a hard time making a decision

Similar to being tired but I think it deserves its own spot is that you begin to have a hard time making decisions. If you’re getting burnt out you’re going to have a hard time making a thoughtful decision. 

Because you like to think your decisions through. It takes a lot of brain power after all. 

4. Physical Signs

The physical signs can be a headache, irritability, depression, and feeling anxious. 

It can literally feel like your body is shutting down just like your phone dying. 

5. You feel off

Another sign could be simply that you don’t quite feel like yourself. You don’t feel like socializing anymore, you’re ready to go home, you don’t feel present anymore. 

All of the above signs could contribute to this but if it is a telltale sign that it is time to go. 

4 Ways to lessen the effects of an introvert hangover

While it is completely natural to feel drained after social events, there are ways to charge up those batteries so you aren’t completely dead by the time you get home.

So you can still reach your personal goals and have time to enjoy life outside of socializing. 

1. Identify what your limit is

Just like alcohol, it is helpful to know what exactly your limit is. Can you only handle one social event over the weekend? 

What specifically triggers you? Are there any social events or people that drain your energy really fast? What events do you enjoy? Which ones do you dread? 

Try to take mental notes so that you are aware of them. Then take some time to reflect on it after the event to discover where most of your energy went. Keep asking why until you get to the core energy drainer. 

 Because once you’re aware then you can start doing something about it. 

2. Set Boundaries

Once you can determine what your limit is then you can set boundaries around your time and energy. 

Start saying no to events and people that don’t bring value to your life. 

It’s all about finding a balance. You shouldn’t write socializing off altogether because I know you want to build those deep connections. 

But you can decide that clubs aren’t your thing or that you can go for drinks but not for dinner, or vice versa. It can even be that if you’re on a group trip, you need to carve out some alone time, like getting up early or going for a solo walk. 

It’s important to communicate your needs. If you do then you’re going to show up better and be more enjoyable to be around. On top of that, you’re going to enjoy your time there more which is the most important part. 

You don’t have to do it all if it’s going to make you feel drained and not good afterward or even the next day. 

3. Incorporate alone time before and after the party

Charging up your batteries is going to make a huge difference in whether or not you enjoy socializing. I know if I’m able to squeeze some alone time or self care into my routine then I thrive at parties. 

I’m able to show up as myself and connect with people. Sure, I’m not the most talkative one there but I do enjoy being there. 

For me, self care includes getting a workout in, reading or watching some reality TV, and making sure I eat well throughout the day but this is going to look different for everyone. 

However, I highly suggest unplugging and making sure the self-care activities you chose are solo ones.

4. Why did you want to go in the first place?

And with anything in life, going with purpose makes it all more meaningful so ask yourself why do you even want to go?

Is it to spend time with friends and family? To get yourself out there since you’ve been in your house for too long? 

Determining your why can be helpful when you start feeling resistance about going. When the social anxiety begins to kick in and you aren’t sure why you agreed in the first place. 

And it can be helpful to reframe your mind to prolong social burnout. It is going to happen but if you go to the party with a negative attitude, it is going to happen a lot faster. 

Final Thoughts

While the introvert hangover is very much real, there are ways to lessen the effects. Just like an alcohol hangover, you need to treat your body with care and fill it up with nutritious food and things that are good for your mind. 

Self-care is crucial to charging your batteries so you can feel more confident attending social events. 

Social events don’t have to be all doom and gloom if you keep these things in mind. 

Until next time,

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What is the introvert hangover and how can I recover from it?

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