It is The Clash’s age-old dilemma: Should I stay or should I go? We face these crossroads regularly, as the movers and shakers that we are. And in a typical metropolis, every night of the week there are functions with free food and drink to consume, concerts to attend, establishments to patron, and parks to loiter in. Making matters even more complicated, our handy dandy social networks always let us know that everyone else is having THE MOST fun of all time, at all times. #FOMO much? It’s great to be a “yes” person, but not at your personal expense. To avoid perma-raccoon eyes and a haggard feeling, sometimes you have pick and choose. So when the angel and devil of partying are perched on your shoulders, ready to duke it out, just employ the following list of questions. Winner takes all!
What are you doing tomorrow morning?
Before we even get to tonight, what’s happening the next day? If the answer is along the lines of a job interview, first day at a new gig, or appointment that doesn’t approve of nap time, then the answer is probably no—or at least go home (very) early. We’re not invincible. There’s no shame in needing a little beauty sleep before a big day! In that case, the risk will probably not be worth the reward of a night out. But if all you have planned is a lazy Sunday, go out guilt-free!
Has it been a while?
Have you been hermitting? Do your friends miss seeing your face outside of your apartment? Maybe this is a golden opportunity to get back into gear! There’s a difference between being exhausted and under pressure, and just being a bit lazy. Even if your work schedule is crazy, it might be a good idea to break your trusty routine of coming home to slump and finish an entire TV series in one sitting. If going out is a regular thang for you, then saying no once in a while should be a non-issue. Otherwise, for your chance at sanity and human contact, sometimes it’s ok to be a little tired in the morning.
Do you have the funds?
Serious question! Can you afford it? Is it worth going protein-less for a week? Every now and then, a game plan is devised that will stretch you past a point you’re comfortable with. Your call, beb. Can the plans be changed from sit down dinner to pot luck? If not, do you think you can get through the night and enjoy it instead of stressing? Maybe it’s worth it, maybe it’s not. It’s your bank account and you (should) know how to work it best.
Are you going for the right reasons?
Everything we do, we do because we are motivated. Think about why you might really want to go. Is it that you actually want to go out and be the best? Then go strut your stuff! Or is that you know your ex or arch nemesis will be there? If your night is centered around someone else or even just general negativity, you’re not in for a good time. No matter how the night ends up—if they talk to you, or don’t—you’re probably going to walk away without a smile on your face…and with things to bitch about.
Will the event make an impact on you?
On occasion, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities arise and saying, “No,” isn’t a real option. If you can tell that going out will have a positive impact on you—like reconnecting with an old pal, leading you to a better job, or teaching you something of value—it could be worth it. As long as you’re capable of putting your best foot forward, why not put the rest of the concerns to bed? Good riddance, sleep! Loopholes, m’dear.
Will your presence make an impact?
Sometimes, all of the above questions are letting you off the hook and the reality of a night on the couch gets closer and closer…until you realize perhaps the most important thing: it really matters if you’re there. It’s a bestie’s birthday, a family affair, a going away party; something important. You will be missed. You can decide how long you want to stay, but in times like these, you should probably at least show up. You know you would appreciate the same effort!
Let the fear of missing out slip away. Without being totally selfish, focus on what’s best for you. Acknowledge your body and all the factors surrounding the night ahead—but recognize when it’s time to suck it up and make the most of your summer. The stars don’t always align for the perfect night out, but it could mean a lot for your future or just to someone you care about. Contemplate. A lot of the time, going out will win! Other times, staying in will. But if you follow your gut and figure out what works best for you in the long run, you will win every time.