Most introverts find that if they’ve been among a large group for a number of days (or even hours) they become drained and exhausted. Too much time socialising or at work events like conferences (even online ones) can leave introverts feeling like they have a hangover. This is the introvert hangover, and you might not even have been drinking any alcohol.
Introvert hangover symptoms
You’ve over done the socialising (doesn’t always take much!) and now you feel lethargic, drained, generally ‘blah’, not wanting to engage with other people and maybe even achy (well one person reported that). Introvert hangover symptoms can vary in strength for different people and at different times.
It’s true to say that everybody feels drained after too much social interaction, but introverts have a lower tolerance so the feeling comes quicker. One of the defining points of being an introvert is feeling drained by social interaction.
There is even a biochemical explanation for this. Studies have shown that introverts are more sensitive to dopamine than extroverts. Dopamine is sometimes called the feel good chemical that our body naturally produces when stimulated. Sensitivity means you’re likely to feel more tired, more quickly. It also explains why everybody eventually gets tired of socialising.
What’s the introvert hangover cure?
The best introvert hangover cure needs some planning and spare time. If you can do it, a recovery day before and afterwards make a lot of sense. Before going to a conference a clear day helps reduce symptoms and afterwards allows recovery..
Before makes sure you’re as fresh as possible on arrival. Try things that are easy and refreshing. Maybe pottering around at home, light work, housework, a long walk. Things so you’ve got less to worry about the next day, clear the decks.
Afterwards is about recovery. Acknowledge this is how you’ll feel, plan to do something about it. Some introverts spend time alone (possibly even without partner!). Do something relaxing that allows you to recover and wipes your mind of the hangover! What is meaningful for you and stops you thinking about anything (so you’re not even worrying about recovering!)? Long bath, duvet day, lazing around, box-set on Netflix, going for a run, long walk and then slobbing out; what works for you? Don’t focus on clearing your mind and don’t worry about the fact that you’re tired, or it’s harder to recover!
Some people need more than a day! Know yourself and plan accordingly, where possible.
What’s the rapid cure to an introvert hangover?
What happens when you can’t manage to get time off? Maybe you didn’t expect to feel shattered, loads of people turned up unexpectedly, or you’re just too busy to take two days off?
- Minimise the impact : During the conference/ event/ team meeting minimise the build up of the problem. Take small breaks during the event where you escape from everybody (walk, hide in your room, sit quietly somewhere, even sit in the toilet for a few minutes – walking maybe the healthiest of these). In those snatched few minutes concentrate on relaxing, not thinking. Enjoy the quiet, perhaps even meditate if that’s your thing (5 minutes can work wonders). It’s not perfect, but can help you through it.
- Easing your recovery: You’ve been to the event, you minimised the impact of your introvert hangover, and have to work the next day. How can you practice self care the next day too? Small breaks as mentioned above, early night, get out at lunch time can all help.
Do you get the introvert hangover, and how do you cure it?
- Toilet Rolls and Introversion: Strange combination maybe, but it's a true and personal story.
- Why do introverts hate small talk? Most introverts and some extraverts don't like it
- When it’s noisy introverts find it harder to concentrate. And some things to do about it
- Curing the introvert hangover. Go on, you've had one too!
Or listening to
In this episode of "Activate Your Introvert" I answer the common question - what is an introvert?