When you’re busy chasing your dreams and focusing on your career, it’s easy to let your social life fall by the wayside. You might not notice it happening, but you start to skip weekday dinners to work longer hours in the office, or you turn down social invitations on the weekends in favor of getting ahead on your to-do list.
However, you might not realize that your social life is just as important as your work life. Humans are social animals; you need regular interaction with others to stay healthy and happy. If you’re finding it hard to make time for your friends and family, here are five tips to help you carve out more time for your social life.
Tip #1 Create a weekly social calendar
One of the best ways to make time for your social life is to schedule it into your week. Set aside a few hours each week that you can dedicate to catching up with friends or exploring your city. This will help you make the most of your free time and stay connected to the people who matter most to you.
And you don’t even have to do it all at once. You can start by scheduling a social activity weekly or at least twice a month. Then, as you get more comfortable with your schedule, you can begin to add more events to your calendar. This way, you can maintain a healthy work-life balance without overwhelming yourself.
Tip #2 Make plans in advance
Another great way to make time for your social life is to plan your outings. This will help you avoid last-minute cancellations and always prepare you for a fun night out. When you plan, you’ll also be more likely to stick to them since you’ve had ample time to prepare for them mentally.
For instance, if you know you want to go out for drinks with friends on Saturday night, you can start planning the details a few days before. You could pick out your outfit, finalize your transportation, and make sure you have enough cash on hand to cover your tab. By the time Saturday rolls around, all you’ll need to do is show up and have a good time.
Although this behavior may seem too nit-picky, it can help you relax and enjoy your social time more since you won’t have to worry about the logistics of your evening. This way, you can have fun and avoid potentially stressful situations that could derail your evening.
Tip #3 Set aside time for yourself
In addition to setting aside time for your social life, it’s also essential to make time for yourself. You can use this for anything from taking a yoga class to reading your favorite book. Carving out some “me time” will help you relax and recharge, making you more likely to enjoy your time with friends and family.
Besides, you don’t always have to spend your free time with other people. If your social batteries are drained, take some time for yourself and do something you enjoy. This way, you can enter your social interactions feeling refreshed and ready to have a good time instead of feeling burnt out.
Tip #4 Choose your battles wisely
There’s no need to try to please everyone all the time. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s okay to say no to plans that don’t interest you. Don’t feel guilty about turning down an invitation if it doesn’t fit your schedule or if you’re just not in the mood; otherwise, you’re just forcing yourself to spend time with people you don’t want to be around.
It’s also okay to put your social life on hold if you’re dealing with a personal issue or to go through a tough time. Your friends and family will understand if you need to step back from socializing for a while. They’ll be there when you’re ready to re-engage with the world again.
Choosing your battles also apply to other things in your life. If you want more time for yourself, you could take the easy way out when it comes to your chores. For instance, you could drop off your silks or leathers at a dry cleaning service instead of hand-washing them. Or, you could order take-out instead of cooking a big meal. These small changes can free up a lot of time in your schedule for more important things.
Tip #5 Keep your social life simple
There’s no need to overcomplicate your social life. Sometimes, the best way to catch up with friends is by grabbing a cup of coffee or going for a walk in the park. Your social activities don’t always have to be extravagant or time-consuming; the simplest things are the most enjoyable.
In addition, try to avoid planning social events that are too far in the future. If you have something coming up next month, it’s not necessary to start making plans now. This will just add more pressure to your already busy schedule. So, keep things low-key and relaxed, and you’ll surely enjoy your time together.
Remember: you need to spend time with the people you love, but that doesn’t mean that you have to neglect your other responsibilities. Just find a way to balance everything, and you’ll be able to find time for your social life without sacrificing your work or personal life.