A recent study performed by the American Psychological Association has found that as many as 50% of Americans are feeling some type of anxiety when it comes to reentering a post-pandemic world. It makes sense – after a year spent away from one another, spending a great deal of time at home, and away from social interaction, the idea of closeness and connection feels foreign to many. What if you’ve forgotten how to interact socially? What if all the sound and excitement is overwhelming? While these anxieties seem strange, it’s important to remember that they are normal and there are ways you can ease yourself back in to enjoying social life once again.
At Technalink, we use empathy and compassion to understand that different individuals may be feeling different ways when it comes to reentering post-pandemic life. Some tips that we provide to those feeling some reentry anxieties are:
1. Start small first – If you’re feeling reentry anxiety it might not be a good idea to have your first post-pandemic outing be a big concert or a professional conference. It’s important to ease back into regular social life by starting small and building your way back up. Attending a small party at a friend’s home, going to dinner on a weekend evening, or attending a smaller local festival is an ideal first step.
2. Re-center when you feel overwhelmed – You might feel overwhelmed when you step out even if you weren’t expecting to at first. When you start feeling those anxieties creeping in, step away from your crowd and find a quiet space to meditate for a few moments. This can help to re-center you in mind, body, and spirit while helping you to practice mindfulness in these difficult moments.
3. Take a trusted friend – Having a “safe person” when you’re feeling anxious is always a good idea. At your first outings, have a safe person with you that you can share your emotional stress with, and who can support you with compassionate leadership when you need it most. Emotional wellness sometimes means opening yourself up to lean on someone you trust.
4. Keep your bigger picture in mind – Easing into post-pandemic life is just a small frame of a much larger picture. By keeping the bigger picture of getting back to enjoying life in mind you can set this as a goal to work towards.
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