1. Schedule Carefully
2. Prepare Yourself
3. Arrive "Fashionably Late"
When you begin to feel overwhelmed, you are going to need to leave. If you came with someone, make sure you communicate with them ahead of time your desire to leave when you have emptied your energy bowl. Having a conversation ahead of time will allow you to not feel guilty when it is time to leave and keep the other person from feeling disappointed.
4. Plan an Escape Route
5. Listen to Yourself
Don't stay longer than you are able! When I lose my energy reserves I become exhausted which leads to irritability and crankiness. At that point it is no longer fun for me or the people around me. Make sure you are listening to yourself when you are scheduling excursions with others and when you are out exerting yourself.
6. It's O.K. to Say No
It's ok not to go out. It's ok to leave a party early. It's O.K. to stay home and read a book, pet a cat, color a few pages, or sleep. Never allow yourself to feel guilty about caring for your own needs.
7. Good Friends Will Understand
If you have good friends, they will understand you and your needs. They will also have a good time with you when you are with them. Good friends are crucial to a happy and healthy life, so go out and enjoy your friendships!