Illustration for article titled You Will Never Make All Of Your Post-Pandemic Social ResponsibilitiesPhoto: Jacob Lund (Shutterstock)

Lost by Us has spent the past 15 months fantasizing about all the amazing things we can do when the pandemic marathon slogan hits its end. We may even have tentative plans to finally get together with too many people to count. But honestly, it’s possible that you’ve amassed your plate of more post-pandemic plans than you can digest – especially if you’ve arranged a series of social gatherings that sound good in theory but which you likely won’t have time for , maybe ever.

While things are looking good in the short term (the pandemic is taking off here in the US, though it’s a different story globally), you need to be realistic with yourself about how much opportunity you really have to see the people who are this for you really important – and whether it’s worth taking the time to see those who aren’t that important.

Post-pandemic social obligations have gotten out of hand

Look, you’re popular and it’s not your fault. We all longed for a return to normal Before we are vaccinated, we are ready to move on with enthusiasm after receiving our thrusts. If you have made plans to see more people than it now seems reasonable, you need to be a bit reckless.

Reduce your social engagement by 20 percent

Make a list of everyone with whom you have made plans. This can include friends, family, acquaintances, networking friends, co-workers, and old flames – whoever. Then do your best to reduce the number of people by 20 percent.

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Don’t feel bad about ticking people off your duty list. Chances are, they are likely to do the same to other people, if not to you. You might even do them a favor.

Spread your social gatherings throughout the year

Give yourself space to breathe. If you’ve made preliminary plans to get drinks or hike with whoever, you might be putting a few of the less urgent commitments on the back burner. We’ve had plenty of time indoors over the past fifteen months to plan (or develop crippling social anxiety). To add a little more balance to the feeling of diving back into the void, keep your calendar stretched out so that you don’t get overwhelmed. It might seem strange to put a coffee date in late summer, but at least you have it on the books.

They can always peel off

Making plans is often just a symptom of boredom. Lots of people do it because getting together sounds like a good idea, and doing so even when you don’t quite feel like it’s a nice gesture. But you should assess the feasibility of these plans: Were they made because both parties simply like the idea of ​​a meeting? Are they the kind of plans that would have stalled in the texting phase in the pre-pandemic era? Then don’t let the extra pressure to finally get vaccinated change anything.

Once you have identified which plans (or even which relationships) are bearing less fruit, then don’t bother to follow up on them. It is not a disregard for the person or people involved – I am not suggesting that you should ignore people’s attempts to contact you. If someone is particularly anxious to update their plans, write the date on your extended calendar. (It’s perfectly okay to stab it down the street, too.) But if you don’t keep going, there’s no reason to feel like you have to, too.

Even if you’re hungry for human contact, there is no reason to turn your re-entry into society into an insane shot to see everyone you haven’t seen since March 2020 – especially the people you were happy to avoid .