It's important to keep our social lives a source of comfort and fun, especially when other aspects of our lives like work are stressing us out.
However, sometimes our social life can feel like it's a source of stress, not an escape from it. When this happens, you may be less likely to go out with friends because you feel like the stress of participating in social situations that make you uncomfortable isn't worth the effort.
If you suffer from social anxiety that makes your social life cause you more stress than joy, here are four ideas of things you can do that will help de-stress and rejuvenate you and your social life.
1. Take a Hike
One of the best things to do with your friends is get outside. Going on a hike with your friends, or just heading to the park if you don't have trails nearby, is a great de-stresser and bonding experience.
The fresh air, light exercise, and natural scenery will boost your mood and get your endorphins pumping, and it will allow you to socialize in a more relaxed setting. You'll be amazed how refreshed you feel when you trade a day spent on the couch watching sports for an afternoon nature hike.
2. Join a team
Sports teams are not just for high schoolers! Many adults join after work sports teams as a way to destress and make new friends. The camaraderie of being a part of a team is something many of us miss after growing out of high-school or college age sports.
Joining a team will get you in better shape, keep your mood up, and most importantly, help you bond you with your teammates in long-lasting ways. For someone who suffers from social anxiety, participating in a set activity where you share a common purpose with your teammates can give you a push in the right direction.
3. Try a Kava Bar
How many nights do you spend drinking at a bar, with music so loud you can barely even talk with your friends? Next Saturday night, try a kava bar instead.
Kava tea is made from the root of the plant. It has the relaxing effect of alcohol without impairing your judgement (and without the hangover!) Kava bars are increasing in popularity and are a great way to get together with friends and de-stress at the same time.
4. Start a book club
Reading is one of the best activities to destress and better yourself at the same time, yet many adults don't have the time or motivation to make it a priority.
Book clubs are a great way to socialize and start a new hobby that can change your life and make you smarter. Book clubs also gives you something specific to discuss and leads to consistent get togethers, which are two helpful things to help ease your anxiety surrounding social. Make it fun by making smoothie bowls and having some relaxing tea during the get together, and this could turn into a new tradition for your group of friends.
Try these new ideas as a way to socialize and keep your anxiety at bay at the same time, and watch how quickly your day-to-day stress levels decrease.