The anxious girl’s guide to getting in the mood to go out

Hey, do you fancy going out? Like, ‘out out’?

If you’re anything like me, you love a night out… but hate them at the same time. It’s a constant struggle. Do I want to spend a tenner on one drink or a massive Chinese takeaway? Do I want to wallow in my own self pity with only Netflix for company or do I want a mega night out with the gals? Can I be bothered with the banging headache the next day or is it worse to wake up the next day and see insta stories of your pals having fun without you?

Well gals, tonight we’re seizing the moment!

A night out every once in a while doesn’t have to be a source of anxiety for you, but just in case it is, here’s your ultimate guide to getting yourself in the mood for a night out without flaking on your mates.*

First of all, you can get started with this playlist…

Find the joy in getting ready
Nothing quite beats the showers you have when you’re getting ready for a night out. For me, a shower before a night out is like a military operation. Hair wash, hair mask, shave, balm, hair dry, essential oils, lotions & all sorts of potions…

If you’re still wondering if you’re up for it, the least you can do is get up and shower to see how you feel afterwards. Yes, that means getting out of your PJs you little tinker.

What I found best was to use ‘holiday smells’ (think coconuts, lime and suntan lotion) and citrus scented products to put me in good spirits. Bergamot, mandarin and orange all make fantastic mood boosters and I absolutely guarantee that you’ll – at the very least – feel great about yourself after using them, even if the idea of socializing is making you tick.

Your body is a temple and the process of getting ready for a night out is a ritual. Revel in yourself. Use your favourite shampoo, start early so you don’t feel rushed, do a facemask 15 minutes before so that you can easily scrub it off in the shower. Use this time to elevate your mood, treat yourself with kindness and forgive yourself for feeling a little blue.

Wear something that makes you feel unreal
My last post about how to ditch the ‘jeans and a nice top’ code will give you a few tips on finding something that makes you feel amazing on a night out.

Sod asking what everyone else is going to wear, focus on yourself for once. All you need to know is what bars you’ll likely be attending to figure out what outfit would be appropriate. From there on, it’s up to you.

This whole outfit was kindly gifted from Pretty Little Thing. I prefer to cover the tops of my arms so finding a dress with sleeves was a total blessing! Wearing a red dress is a power move, there’s not one person in the land who wouldn’t feel incredible in this silky smooth dress. I paired it with rose gold heels (again, from PLT) to compliment the luxe feel and finished off with a spritz of YSL Black Opium.

Surround yourself with good vibez only
It’s easy to get lost in a big group of friends on a night out, so confide in just one or two of your friends about your reservations and anxiety. They’re sure to understand and help support you – we live in a time where there’s more mental health awareness than ever (yeah, ok, we have a long way to go) but your friends are likely to completely get where you’re coming from.

Make sure to ask them that they personally introduce you to a few new people, if you’re not confident enough to start small talk over pre-drinks. This will help massively when it comes to socialising within the group.

Don’t forget snacks
The issue with being an anxious girl on a night out/at pre-drinks is that we often fiddle with everything. We can’t sit still. That’s why, if we’ve got a drink in our hands it will go – fast! We don’t even realise we’re doing it. That said, make sure you’re A) lining your stomach with a big meal before going out, B) chewing gum instead of drinking to keep yourself occupied.

Take as many selfies as you heckin’ want
Where did this whole ‘don’t be behind the camera, be in the moment‘ mantra come from? I mean, I’m going to Revs De Cuba not on a gap year pal. Can everyone just calm down?

Find a blank wall (not a bedroom door, please) and pose til your heart’s content. Who cares if your insta story is 10 tiles too long – it’s someone else’s choice if they want to watch the whole thing. Don’t ever feel ashamed for sharing the fact you like your outfit/you’re having a good time! These are the sort of feelings you need to nurture and hold onto.

Remember that you can go home at any time you want
One you’re out, you don’t have to stay out. If you just show your face that’s fine. At least you gave it a good go and showed your friends that you care.

Most of the time when I think ‘I’ll just show my face‘ I end up staying out for the rest of the night, because you just have to trick yourself into getting beyond that first pain barrier of anxiousness.

Clear your bed before you leave
There’s nothing quite like the sheer horror of coming home from a night out only to realise you left all your make up and potential outfits on your bed before you left. It’s too late. You’ve face planted the bed and in the process you’ve probably cracked your setting powder. The spins have set in and there’s no going back, you just need to focuse on trying to fall asleep before you fall out of bed.


*Don’t worry I do it too.
I should probably finish off this by saying, yes I am a flakey so-and-so. There are times that you will feel the need to cancel. I get that. But there will always be times when you’re on the fence and you need a little helping hand. That’s exactly what this piece is for. Good vibez only here, no judgement.

If, like me, you fancy a night out but you need a little empowerment/kick up the bum to stop watching Brooklyn 99 and leave the house – give it a go and let me know how you get on. I expect to be tagged in a photo of you at 2am with cheesey chips.

Have a great night!

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  1. February 27, 2018 / 2:30 pm

    Clearing your bed is such a good tip!! My room always ends up in absolute chaos when I’m getting ready for a night out! Love this slinky red dress on you, you little minx!

    Hannah x

  2. March 5, 2018 / 8:51 pm

    I am exactly the same! I am always so anxious before I go out but when I’m out I have a great time! A glass of wine always helps me out!

    • Jess - Actual Philocalist
      March 7, 2018 / 11:21 am

      Laura I totally get you, why is the build up the worst part? It’s rare that I feel like going home as soon as I’m out, which is why I always tell myself to just show my face and see what happens. I guess it’s a case of getting beyond that first initial pain barrier.

  3. March 5, 2018 / 11:09 pm

    Cute post and good tips on going out,especially the one about eating a good dinner before heading out. It will help absorb a lot of alcohol one may drink that night.

    • Jess - Actual Philocalist
      March 7, 2018 / 11:20 am

      I’m never 100% if it helps so I’m glad you’ve backed me up on this! I suppose it just helps line your stomach and as you say, absorb the alcohol.

  4. March 5, 2018 / 11:24 pm

    I love this, it can be so hard going out when you have social anxiety so having some ideas of things you should do in the run up to going out is great and hey who doesn’t love rocking a selfie from time to time.

  5. March 6, 2018 / 1:59 am

    Oh girl I feel you, I like to dance but I would definitely not call myself a party girl. I would much rather watch Netflix or eat my weight in food . But a great soundtrack, LEMON by N. E.R. D is my spirit animal.

    • Jess - Actual Philocalist
      March 7, 2018 / 11:19 am

      I hear you Ana! I’m in a similar boat. I only like nights out every now and then but I do still struggle even when I really want to go. Feel free to suggest some more tracks cause I’d happily add them to the list gal :)!

  6. March 6, 2018 / 8:27 am

    Clearing your bed is absolutely the best tip, so many times I have come home and slept in a little ball with my make up, hair tools and 500 outfits. I then can’t be bothered to clear it the next day because I’m too tired ha! The shower thing is definitely a must in getting ready to go out, I put music on and do my whole ritual, it gives me motivation x

    • Jess - Actual Philocalist
      March 7, 2018 / 11:15 am

      Charli why do we do it to ourselves haha! I always regret not clearing my bed and end up spooning a makeup palette at the end of the night.

  7. March 6, 2018 / 8:52 am

    Great tips for a night out! I think it’s very important to get in the mood, get ready with plenty of time and ensure your house is tidy before you leave!

  8. March 6, 2018 / 9:44 am

    I’m really not a going out out kind of person but I totally agree about dressing for yourself and not worrying what everyone else is wearing x

  9. March 6, 2018 / 1:15 pm

    Going out is like going to the gym for my mummy, she hates the idea of it but is ok once she’s there. She doesn’t drink and the thought of being around drunk people is off putting. However she has had a couple of nice dinners out with friends and chatted to the wee hours. Great tips x

  10. March 6, 2018 / 3:04 pm

    Perfect tips! I do love the routine of getting ready to go out!

  11. March 6, 2018 / 6:31 pm

    I totally agree with wearing something that makes you feel unreal – if you feel confident in yourself, you are definitely more inclined to want to actually head out

  12. March 6, 2018 / 8:42 pm

    ah these are brilliant tips! It can be so hard to go out when you’re feeling anxious! x

  13. March 6, 2018 / 9:06 pm

    Thumbs up for this awesome tips especially the part where you have to make sure you clear your bed before you leave. Yes nothing wrong with surrounding yourself with good vibes!

  14. March 6, 2018 / 9:25 pm

    Getting ready is one of my favourite things to do. Sometimes I’m having such a good time on my own I forget I’m going The art of dressing is something I’ve always enjoyed. In fact, in my next home, I will have a dressing room equipt with one of those portable wireless music systems and a small fridge 🙂

    • Jess - Actual Philocalist
      March 7, 2018 / 11:44 am

      Oh my days that sounds amazing. I want to come and get ready for a night out at your place haha!

  15. March 6, 2018 / 10:45 pm

    I can not remember the last time I went out and had to prepare for it, I do like drinking a little at home and play some good music.

  16. March 7, 2018 / 10:38 am

    So love reading your post! You remind me of me! I always love a night out but hate the consequence. Your playlist is super by the way and like you I love a glass of rose too.

  17. March 7, 2018 / 11:27 am

    Haha, oh my I loved this! As a very anxious girl myself, this was a fab read & I’ve gone ahead and found you on Instagram to follow. Love the tip about clearing the bed soon as those spins start, you know you ain’t standing up again (unless it’s to throw up!). I too use the “you can go home any time” tip to trick myself into going, and, as always, I end up being out all night and not wanting the fun to end.

  18. Lynne Harper
    March 7, 2018 / 2:39 pm

    I suffer so badly with anxiety tho I’m not as bad when going out this is such a good set of tips for those who struggle socially I know even for me these would be great 🙂