As party season is upon us, many of us are wondering how to get through this time without living in regret about the things we said at a party. And I think you know who I’m talking about. I’m talking about the introverts, the highly sensitive people (HSP). As someone who often wonders whether I am an HSP myself, I know that socialising can be one of the most difficult activities to pursue. And I’d like to help ease the entire process for others.

So, here are a few things you can keep in mind to safeguard yourself and your mental health:

1. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep before the party

This is such an underrated piece of advice. If you have trouble sleeping at night and are a bit of a night owl, try to get a good nap in the day before. As introverts and HSPs, it’s easy to feel drained by social interaction, so get solid physical rest before the party.

2. Get familiar and do your research

It may help if you know whose house party it is, or the venue you’re heading to beforehand. You can either go through images of the place online and check out its menu or ask a few questions about who is on the guest list.

3. Remember to take breaks

Feel free to step out for some fresh air. Find the terrace, go outside for a couple of minutes either with a trusted buddy or by yourself to realign yourself and get some quick perspective and balance out any feelings of being overwhelmed.

4. Pause in between your alcohol intake

Being mindful of your alcohol consumption can save you from getting anxious and overwhelmed. So pause between your drinks and be conscious of your total intake.

5. Mentally prepare yourself the day before

It may help to mentally prepare yourself for social interaction. Start acknowledging that you’ll be in the presence of multiple people the next day.

You don’t have to skip parties entirely, you can leave early and use the methods above to navigate the situation.