It’s the season for holiday parties. Some people love them. Other people hate them. And some people, like me, feel both ways at once.
So many parts of me come into conflict at a party:
I’m an extrovert, so I draw my energy from being around people.
Also: I’m also an empath, and highly sensitive, so I absorb others’ energy very easily. This can drain my energy, if I’m not careful.
I like to meet new people and get to know them.
Also: I can be shy around people I don’t know well.
I love to talk with people.
Also: I hate small talk.
I like being in places where there’s a lot going on. It feeds my need for stimulation.
Also: I also take in everything in my environment. I often describe ADHD as the absence of the filter that most people have, which helps them focus on what’s most relevant to their needs in the moment. I walk into a room and I’m not just noticing who is there; I’m taking in traffic flow patterns and room logistics and things that most people never notice.
This absence of a filter can quickly send my brain into overwhelm when there’s a lot happening around me.
So, yes: parties leave me feeling conflicted. Maybe you can relate.
After many years, I have learned that I need a lot of downtime after an event to process and restore. After being in a high-stimulus environment I need downshifting rituals.
Before I knew this, I would sometimes ignore the signs in my energy that told me to call it a night. I would go to the after party or to another event. When I finally got home I would be wired for hours or pass out.
Learning how to be more attuned to my energy has helped me know whether to even attend an event in the first place, manage my energy better at an event, and know when it’s time for me to leave.
Post-event restoration rituals are crucial to restoring energy after a party. I start my restoration ritual before I even leave the event, so that I don’t bring the outside energy into my home space.