Community//

Saying “No” is a Form of Self Care

Top 3 signs you’re experiencing social burnout

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

We’ve all been there: it’s finally Friday, and it’s been a full week of pulling heavily caffeinated all-nighters in the library, only to take your midterm in your clothes from the night before. Our first impulse after walking out of that last exam is to celebrate. We deserve a night out! We need to let loose, see our friends and have the best thrills $20 and a student ID can buy. But what happens when the little voice in your head says, “I’m tired”?

College is an environment in which having a healthy social life is a vital aspect to the overall experience. However, a large number of students find themselves facing burnout when they extend themselves too far in terms of their social interactions. Feeling an ingrained, impulsive need to form a solid group of friends or have the textbook college experience can lead to students participating in every activity, extracurricular group, or event that they can with little time to spare for downtime and personal care. 

It is important to understand that self-care does not always come in the form of a facial mask and Netflix binge; sometimes the greatest favor you can do for yourself is to say “no”. Here are some signs that you may need to take a much needed step back:

You feel that social events are almost mandatory 

When consumed with the fear of missing out, or FOMO, it can be all too easy to view social events as a mandatory occasion. If you begin to feel that there will be consequences to not going to every event, or that you’ll lose out on chances to build connections, you may lead yourself down a path directed towards immense burnout. Social events are never an obligation, and it’s okay to say “no” to things that won’t cause you any joy. 

Social interactions or group hangouts leave you feeling drained, when you normally feel energized 

A telltale sign of social burnout is when being with a group of friends makes you feel worse than you did before. These people, as much as you may love them, can pose as an overbearing presence if you are not making enough time for yourself, or if you are continually accepting their offers to hang out. Saying “no” to friends or group activities when you need time to recharge is a healthy habit to practice. 

You haven’t had the time to pursue your hobbies or do things by yourself 

Your time in college should, at the end of the day, be a positive experience in which you not only learn more about the world, but about yourself. Take the time to stay in tune with your needs and take care of yourself by saying “no” to the things that inhibit you from truly enjoying your time here, or from doing the things you love.

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Thrive Global on Campus//

    Anonymity on Campus

    by Isabel Inadomi
    Courtesy of Weekend Images Inc. / Getty Images
    Thrive Global on Campus//

    On-Campus Recruiting Is Super Stressful

    by Zoe Young
    Courtesy of Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock
    Wisdom//

    Why I Openly Share My Own Mental Health Condition With My College Students

    by Dr. Kris

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.