It may surprise the people that know me, but going to social events gets me all kinds of wound up. In fact, before going out I’m usually a completely anxious mess. As times gone on I’ve gotten better at dealing with it – a far cry from my student days when I would get stupidly drunk before going out so I wasn’t as anxious. Would not recommend.
As a result of Ali’s job he often has to miss events – whether that’s a birthday night out, dinners or family gatherings in the past year and a half I’ve had to get used to going alone. As much as I am independent, it is nicer going to an event with someone you love rather than on your lonesome. It doesn’t mean I enjoy it, but I have my own ways of either hyping myself up or having plans for if I’m not feeling great.
It got me thinking, I’m sure I’m not the only one having to face going to events alone! Whether that be social or otherwise so why not put down what helps me?
Make sure you feel confident and comfortable in what you’re wearing
If I’m going to feel good mentally, I want to feel confident in the way I look. Making the effort to go outside? At nighttime no less? You bet I’m going to look good! I quite enjoy making a fuss of myself getting ready with some good music blasting, taking time to do my make up and generally feeling good about myself. It puts me in a much better mindset.
That said I’ll also think about what I’ll be comfortable in, if I’m going for a big dinner I’m not going to be wearing tight jeans or a fitted dress! Hello skater dresses
Don’t be afraid to let friends know you’re feeling it a little bit
When I went out for my birthday last year I was really apprehensive. To be honest, I really missed Ali, it was my second birthday apart from him and I didn’t know if I wanted to bother. A few friends of mine had to cancel and I just felt down.
I didn’t make a secret of this to my friends. I simply explained that I was missing him, but I wanted to spend time with them, just give me a minute to get in the groove! And it worked!
Give yourself some ‘me time’ before or after
I’m an introvert and navigating parties and such alone can be exhausting! Because of this I try to make sure that I have some time to myself either before (a relaxing shower and pamper session) or the next day I might curl up with a good book and my own company!
Find something you’re looking forward to in each event
It could be that the place you’re going to eat does really good dessert. You might be seeing friends you haven’t spent time with in a while, there will be something in each event for you to look forward to! Focus on those rather than the things you’re feeling anxious about!
If you don’t want to drink, then don’t!
If you’re going out normally people are having a drink or two but sometimes you might not feel like it. And that’s ok!!! I’ve had to learn that just because other people are drinking, it doesn’t mean that I have to!
In the past I’ve drunk far too much when I’ve felt sad or lonely and you know what? It just made me feel worse, not better! Now I can be pretty comfortable to just not drink and mocktails are much cheaper!
Appreciate the time you’re spending with friends or family
I absolutely love my friends and family, when I go out I try to take pictures and remember every detail for later when I can excitedly share my day with Ali.
Going to these things alone can make me feel a little lonely but I’m not going to let that ruin the time I have with other people in my life! They know I appreciate them and their time!
Have an ‘escape plan’
I wondered whether to put this one in, but I want to be honest. There are times when I am struggling and the only way I can persuade myself to go out is knowing that if it gets too much I can leave or step out for a minute.
This might be as simple as popping to the toilet for 10 minutes if I feel anxious or driving myself to the event so I don’t have to rely on anyone else for a lift. It’s giving myself that feeling of having control over my anxiety rather than the other way around.
Is there anything else you’d add? Let me know in the comments below!