The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted almost everyone. The fact that we are still in the throes of it over a year later is a clear indicator of exactly how impactful it has been.
In fact, now health experts are focusing their attention on a different sort of pandemic caused by COVID–a mental health pandemic.
Not only are there concerns over how the restrictions put in place due to COVID have affected people, but how individuals will react to a “return to normal”.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel now, thanks to a growing vaccine rollout. While the idea of getting back to normal can be exciting and comforting, it can also cause anxiety for some. You might still be worried about getting sick. Or maybe you’re nervous about returning to work or being in social situations.
The world has changed, there’s no denying that. So, what can you do to cope with anxiety about returning to normal?
Let’s go over a few helpful tips.
1. Start Small
Understand that getting back to normal won’t be easy all the time. Most people have spent over a year either in some kind of “lockdown” or having to deal with a lot of restrictions. Take baby steps if and when you can.
That might mean asking if you can come to work a few hours each day and do the rest from home to start. Or taking small “trips” back out into the world for short periods of time. Socialize with a close friend or two before going to a party or major event.
Starting small can help you feel more in control of every situation. Give yourself an “out” so you never feel trapped as you take these baby steps. The more control you have over these moments, the less likely you are to feel so anxious about them.
2. Manage Your Self-Talk
Negative self-talk often fuels feelings of anxiety. If you struggle with social anxiety, you might have fears about what others think of you or things they might be saying.
But we’ve all been through something strange and difficult over the past year. Chances are, people are more focused on themselves right now than ever. Everyone is trying to get used to a sort of “new normal”. So, try to block out that little voice telling you that people are talking about you. The reality is, they’re just trying to navigate their lives in a post-pandemic world, too.
3. Seek Help Early On
There is no “reopen” date when things will just magically return to normal. Rather, as we’re already seeing, things are more likely to slowly start getting back to a place of familiarity. Restrictions will be modified or lifted, and you’ll be allowed to do things that once seemed completely normal.
So, if you’re already struggling with it, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Now is the perfect time to talk to a mental health professional, as things are slowly getting back to normal. You don’t have to wait until you feel completely overwhelmed. Talking to a therapist or counselor now can help you develop everyday skills and techniques to manage your anxiety as the world gets back to a sense of normalcy. You can contact me here.
One of the most important things to remember is you’re not alone in this. People will react to returning to normal differently. But, knowing that we’re all in this together can provide a much-needed feeling of comfort in times that have seemed so uncertain for far too long.
To find out more about my services in Delray Beach, FL and Sandy Springs, GA, click here Anxiety Therapy.