Hen dos are breeding grounds for anxiety. I’ve been on two in the last few months and while I’ve generally enjoyed them I find that I worry about them before, during and after the event. Don’t get me wrong I feel really lucky to be invited on them, especially as they were both for people I’ve not known that long and have met through my partner. It’s just they seem to bring out the worst in me. The thought process goes something like this:
Will I get on with people? Will I have things to talk about? Am I interesting enough? What if I get tired, I really struggle with social interactions when I’m tired. Is it acceptable to nip off to have a bit of time to myself?
Oh this is alright actually. Everyone seems nice. Hang on, she didn’t sit next to me. Did I offend her? Maybe I said something stupid. I’d better not say anything. No, now it’s been ages since I said something. I’d better at least say something. Oh, you just laughed awkwardly instead. Well done.
Maybe I just shouldn’t go outside again. Maybe I should take up karate/stripping/bungee jumping/insert other ridiculous hobby here so I’ve got something to talk about. What is wrong with me that I can’t just enjoy a weekend of fun?
It’s all these thoughts that make me feel unable to relaxed and most likely come across as aloof and unfriendly which is really far from what I am. And consequently I ended up not enjoying the events as much as I could. Surely I can’t be the only person to feel this way about social gatherings?
I’ve just got back off a hen do and this time I was able to put in a couple of strategies to make it more bearable: i) when we had a bit of down time I took the opportunity to sit by myself and read a magazine for a bit to recharge and ii) I didn’t stay out quite as late as everyone else as I know that being tired makes me feel so much worse. It did seem to help but I’m still a long way off feeling relaxed at these things, which is why my hen do will be small and intimate with just my bridesmaids.
Now I just need to worry about making sure all my bridesmaids are happy but that’s another blog post….