Many of us find ourselves reaching a point of “social burnout” at times.  This is otherwise known as social exhaustion, where we feel like we just need some alone time away from everyone else to recollect. Social burnout affects people differently. Depending on whether you’re more introverted or extroverted, this affects how we function in social situations. 

For example, extroverts thrive off social situations and love to keep a lot of people in their circle. When it comes to introverts however, they thrive off their own energy and don’t desire to be in social situations with lots of people. Introverts also keep a tight knit circle, consisting mostly of a couple close friends. Because of these different characteristics between extroverts and introverts, introverts will tend to experience social burnout much sooner and a bit more intensely. 

What are the signs of social burnout?

Social fatigue is exhausting, especially in the type of society we live in today. We are encouraged to get out there and interact with people, otherwise we are missing out. However, too much of anything is a bad thing, and too much socializing can have negative consequences for both introverts and extroverts alike. Sometimes you may be experiencing some social burnout without even being aware. When social burnout becomes more intense, you are more at a risk of experiencing a mental breakdown. 

To avoid that, let’s take a look at the main signs of social burnout: 

  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Disassociating 
  • Feeling detached from the people around you in general 
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability 

It’s important to deal with social burnout quickly when it happens, to protect your overall mental and physical health. Several symptoms of social burnout can lead to further serious complications such as insomnia and increased risk of more serious mental health issues. 

Cup of lavendar tea
Can’t fall asleep at night? Social burnout keeping you up? Try having a warm cup of lavender tea at night before you go to bed. Lavender induces a calm state which can help us fall asleep.

How do I avoid social burnout in the first place?

Social burnout is taxing on our health and sometimes unavoidable, however, there are several steps you can take to understand what could be causing it in the first place, as well as what to look out for and avoid. If you are already aware of what can cause your social burnout, think about this before you attend certain events. 

Does your social burnout trigger at family gatherings? At work? Just being around a lot of other people in general? Start thinking of instances where you have experienced social burnout most and what triggered it to happen. 

Tips and tricks 

Like mentioned previously, it’s important to get to the root of our social burnout to help prevent it from happening more often in the future. Here are some tips and tricks to consider. 

Plan ahead of time 

If you’re planning on attending a social gathering and worried of getting social burnout/already dealing with some social burnout to begin with, plan ahead on some form of a schedule. It’s been shown in research that many introverts typically begin to experience some form of social burnout within just three hours of socializing. Because of this, try and only plan to stay for a certain period of time. This way you are still able to get out there and have some social time, but you’re only putting the time in that’s worth your energy!

Set limits

Sometimes we can almost feel obligated to hang out with people, even if we aren’t feeling the best or simply don’t want to socialize. However, it’s important for us, especially those who lean more introverted, to understand the importance of setting boundaries with those in our lives around us. 


Why is it important to set boundaries?:

  • Boundaries ensure we do our part to gain respect from those around us about who we are.
  • Boundaries ensure that our needs are being met.
  • We become more assertive and gain more self confidence when we establish strong boundaries.

Learn to say “no” a little more often to things, even though it sounds a lot easier than it may seem. It’s okay to feel a little burnout or not up to things every once in a while, at the end of the day you are protecting yourself and your peace when you establish boundaries. Those who truly love and support you will understand!

Consider alternatives

Remember, you don’t always need to be super social to enjoy yourself and have fun. If a friend asks you to a party with lots of people for example, consider suggesting some alternative ideas if you’re not feeling up to it. You and your friend can instead see a movie together, go for a walk or bike ride, shopping, etc. These are all activities where you can limit the time you spend and the amount of social interaction. 

Friends watching movie together
Enjoy a movie night with friends as an alternative to going out to a party

How can I deal with social burnout?

Social burnout can take quite a toll on our body, leading us to find it difficult to recover. There are many things you can do to refresh your mind and get you back in spirit!

Schedule alone time

Schedule certain times/days during the week where you have complete alone time. Whether that be during a lunch break at work or free time during the weekend, it’s important for all of us to take the time to recharge and get back in tune with ourselves. No matter if we are more introverted or extroverted, select periods of alone time throughout the week can greatly reduce the risk of suffering from social burnout. 

Relaxation techniques 

If you are experiencing social burnout and suffering from negative effects, it may be in your best interest to take up some different relaxation techniques. The top relaxation techniques among adults in the United States consist of deep breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga. 

What are the benefits of breathing exercises?:

  • Breathing exercises consist of inhaling and exhaling our breath for certain periods of time. They increase our oxygen exchange which can also lead to a reduction in high blood pressure.
  • The physical benefits from breathing exercises can also have a positive impact on our overall mental health. We become much more mindful.

What are the benefits of meditation?:

  • If you’ve never tried meditation, this could be your chance to gain a better perspective about a stressful situation.
  • Meditation allows us to focus much more on the present, while increasing patience, creativity, and lots of imagination. 

What are the benefits of yoga?

  • Yoga can improve our heart health, which may be affected by stress.
  • Yoga is overall a great source of relaxation, which can help immensely with sleep if needed. 
  • Yoga can also increase our strength and balance, along with flexibility. 

Reach out

If you’ve been struggling with social burnout for some time and feel like you can’t control it, it may be in your best interest to reach out to someone who could help you. Maybe you might just want to vent to a partner or friend, or you could be in need of some more professional help

Image courtesy of Talkspace, where you can reach out to an online mental health professional at a site like Talkspace today. 

Prioritize yourself!

Social burnout is typically due in part to our needs being neglected/not put first. Remember to give yourself the alone time you need and practice saying no when necessary. Everyone experiences social burnout at one point or another, introverted or extroverted. You’re not alone!

Sep 16, 2022