Easing Post-Pandemic Anxiety While Out in Public
The pandemic did an incredible job at turning the world upside down. We were instructed to mask up, stay away from others, and be cautious of the areas we went to. Now as life starts to get back to normal, the thought of leaving home at all can be overwhelming and bring feelings of uncertainty. We don’t have a sure definition of what safe is in our changing world. That uncertainty is normal. Here’s how you can ease into the post-pandemic life while out in public.
Go At Your Own Pace
You don’t have to conform to anyone’s expectations except your own. If you’re not ready to emerge back into society, don’t. If you still want to go out with a mask, go out with a mask. There are a lot of unknowns as the world tries to return to a more familiar state, so feeling anxious about the dramatic changes is ok. Give yourself whatever time you need. If you’re itching to be outside, visit small venues, stay around smaller groups of people, and go slow. If this is how you want to cope, do it.
Talk To Others
If you’re feeling the pressure, talk to others. You’re not alone in feeling nervous about re-entering the world. Being around and talking to people who are feeling the same way can better put you at ease. It may be easier for you to start going out and adjusting to everything if you’re with people who are experiencing similar feelings.
Keep Taking Care of Yourself
Take a break if you know you’re needing one. Keep focusing on your hobbies and passions that you may have picked up during the pandemic. Actively taking care of yourself will help you thrive instead of surviving. Try to adopt healthy coping methods and practices that will help you stay above water during ever-changing times. Doing things for you that brings you joy and peace of mind will continually be helpful for you as you ease into post-pandemic life.
Fear and anxiety about social events will be normal. Be honest and upfront with people about your boundaries. Don’t hug someone if you don’t feel like it. Don’t shake hands if you don’t want to. Keep your distance if you want to. Every day of post-pandemic life will be different. Stay resilient. You know yourself best. You know how to take care of yourself best. If boundaries are the best way to do that, then it’s ok to build them. Know your limitations with people ahead of time. Making plans that work for you through social events and outings will be a great help. Being able to understand what you can and can’t handle while being out is only going to propel you to success during these changes.
If you find that things aren’t working for you, it’s always ok to seek professional help. If the post-pandemic world is consistently leaving you with anxiety and is interfering with your life, start reaching out to self-help resources. Create a lifestyle that works for you and is comfortable for you. Being able to maintain a guide for yourself will only help you as the world figures out closure from COVID. Spend some time thinking about what the pandemic taught you and what lessons you can carry forward. Our brains have been through a lot in the last year. It’s going to take some time to re-adapt to yet again, the changing world. These constant challenges and changes can be a lot to adapt to. Know that you’re not alone and that better things are coming.