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How to Maintain A Social Life in Your Twenties Without Waking up With a Hangover Every Weekend

Let’s face it – most people in their twenties living in NYC party hard on weekends. Sure, I like going out, but I’ve definitely grown out of the desire to go clubbing until morning hours and heading home while watching normal people go on their morning runs.

Let’s start with a background story. Growing up as a teenager I did a lot of partying. I started going out at a fairly young age, sneaking out on Tuesday nights to go to Hookah bars in Brooklyn when I was only 14 years old (this was ten years ago, so it was a lot easier to find bars that didn’t card). This went on all through high school and became even more excessive as I landed a job in nightlife at 18. While all this was fun, I started noticing some of the people I spent my time with staying behind in life, developing drug addictions, and in the worst cases passing away because of them.

After (somehow successfully) making it through college, reality hit me as I began to realize that I needed to do something productive with my life. At this point I was going out almost every night, sleeping all day, and barely getting by. My boyfriend at the time was even worse, causing both of us to enable each other, leading to a rough end to our relationship.

I realized that I had to start making changes before I slipped down the deep end, which also meant that I had to start spending less time with my “going out” friends. This was a lot harder than expected since my entire life consisted of partying, working until 4am, sleeping all day, and doing the whole thing over again.

My first step was switching out my night job for a day job in the fitness industry. This was a huge step for me mentally and physically.

It’s been a few years now, and one of the main things that took the longest time for me to learn was how to maintain a normal and balanced lifestyle while still having a social life. Here are some things that have helped me do both.

I started meeting new people

While I am still close friends with some of the people I used to celebrate with, the ones that I am still friends with are ones like me, who grew out of the excessive nights out. All of them have established jobs and are genuine friends.

I also made an effort to meet new people with whom I can go out for more casual activities and head back home at a reasonable hour. I also love engaging in day time activities on weekends, which helps me keep a social life while skipping the long nights out.

It wasn’t easy at first, but trust me – you get used to it and learn to love a life you can remember!

I limit my nights out to twice a month

While I love a fun night out, my energy levels are nowhere near where they used to be. Not because I’m getting old, but because my body simply isn’t used to staying out late anymore, and because I truthfully don’t care to go out. At this point I enjoy staying in or saving my energy for a fun adventure during the day. I have a job and other responsibilities that don’t allow me to go out often. Instead, I limit my nights out to twice a month, meaning that any other social interactions involve day time activities, or nice dinners with friends.

I limit my drinking

When I do go out, I’ve trained myself to limit the number of drinks I consume to a manageable level. A few years ago, I would drink until I went to sleep. While I never really lost control of myself, it was a cycle that led to a lot of hangovers, which I like to avoid nowadays. Doing this has allowed me to still go out (not completely restricting myself from having a little bit of fun), but with healthy limits and boundaries.

Now when I go out, I limit myself to 2 – 4 drinks and call it a day. I also avoid sugary drinks and stick to things like vodka sodas, and always drink a glass of water in between each drink to avoid dehydration.

Pro tip: Before you leave your place to go out, set a bottle of water next to your bed so you won’t have to get up in the middle of the night when you feel dehydrated from drinking alcohol.

I remind myself what I have

Even though I sometimes miss the carelessness I used to have, I know that I would never be able to keep up with the life that I have now if I was partying the way that I used to. It took me a while to give up the “fun”, given that it occupied nearly ten years of my life. However, once I got used to a different lifestyle, I realized that my life feels a lot fuller and more wholesome now than it ever has.

One of my biggest fears was that I would lose my entire social life if I wasn’t going out. It turns out that the result was quite the opposite, as I can actually remember everything that I am doing and am having more meaningful experiences with my friends.

If there is anything you take away from this it should be this: You know yourself better than anyone else does. If you feel like your drinking is getting excessive, take a step back and consider the life that you could have without it. While I’m not preaching that everyone should become sober (unless you feel like that’s really what you need, in which case I suggest you check out this article), the balance that I have developed in life after cutting down on all things party related, is indescribable. If you are reading this article then I’m guessing that you’ve reached a point where you want to slow down, but are afraid of losing your social life if you do.

I had the same fear and one thing I can tell you is that my life feels fuller than ever and the social life that I thought I used to have was only fueled by destructive behavior and the wrong people. All those “unforgettable nights” have turned into one ten year blurr (though I definitley know I had fun at the time). If you do decide to move on from the late night social life, you may very well lose sight of a lot of the people you are spending your time with right now. However, your true friends will stick around (even after the party) – keep that in mind!

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