Since lockdown eased in the UK from April onwards, a lot more face to face social plans have been made. It can be tempting to say yes to every social plan that you are invited to. However, saying yes to everything means that you run the risk of burnout. Saying no can be hard though, as essentially you are declining the opportunity to have fun. I am someone that has previously been bad when it has come to saying no, however this has got better recently. In this blog, I will discuss 4 points to consider when it comes to saying no to social plans.
It’s more about the quality and variety of social plans rather than quantity
One thing I have focused on a lot more recently when it has come to my social life is prioritising quality and variety of social plans rather than quantity. Upon reflection, I would personally feel happier with having less plans if it means my social calendar consists of high quality and varied plans. I personally do not think that there is a positive correlation between number of social plans and wellbeing, and I do think your wellbeing can take a hit via burnout if you have too many social plans in a short space of time. Appreciating that quality of social plans is more likely to help your wellbeing than quantity will help you when it comes to saying no to social plans, as you will be aware that you don’t need to say yes to everything.
You don’t want to get in the habit of saying no all the time
As much as it is important to say no to social plans to avoid burnout, there is a balance you have to strike. One you start saying no to social plans, it can become a habit, meaning that you decline more social plans than you should. This could result in you missing out on quality social plans and memories, which you may end up regretting afterwards. Furthermore, if you are part of a friendship group or a workplace, then you don’t want to be that person who says no to every social plan made. Remember that at the end of the day, socials are something fun which can help your wellbeing. Although there may be times where you say no to social plans more often, such as in exam period or during a stressful time, you don’t want to make it a habit where you end up saying no for the sake of it.
You should know what works best for you when it comes to the balance between rest time and social plans
This is a balance that is different for different people, depending on their personality and stage in life. For example, I work a full-time job which does take up a lot of time in the week and therefore I will need time for myself where I can rest. At the same time, I do feel that social plans and meeting people in person significantly helps my wellbeing and work life balance. Therefore, I am someone that wants to have regular social plans in my schedule, but not too much to the extent where I burn out. As a result of this, I do try to keep that in mind when it comes to saying no to social plans, as I don’t want the balance between rest time and social plans to be skewed too heavily towards social plans, or be too heavily skewed towards rest time.
You don’t want to say no to social plans after committing to them unless it’s unavoidable
I do think it is important not to consider saying no to social plans in isolation. In my opinion, it is best to say no to the social plan in good time and before you have committed to it wherever possible. The phrase “wherever possible” is important as things do genuinely come up where you have to say no last minute even though you have committed, such as a family emergency or a terrible mental health day. However, I personally think that you shouldn’t get into the habit of saying no to a social plan after initially saying yes to it. This is because for some social plans, when you say yes and commit to them, things get planned with the assumption that you will make it, such as booking tickets or booking tables. Saying no last minute without a good reason can sometimes dent these plans. If you aren’t initially sure whether you want to or are free to make a given social plan, it is always best to say you are not sure and take time to think rather than rush into saying yes.