After living in the new normal for well over a year, it’s exciting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But going back to a version of our lives that feels like pre-pandemic times can be anxiety-inducing and difficult on mental health. It no longer feels comfortable and familiar, and that’s okay. Anxiety is normal during times of change, especially after isolating ourselves for so long. Here are 4 ways to reduce post-pandemic anxiety as the world re-opens after COVID-19.
Accept how you feel
Change often comes with feelings of uneasiness, so don’t beat yourself up if you’re not 100% jazzed about the world going back to normal. It doesn’t make you ungrateful — it makes you human.
It can help to speak to someone you trust, like a family member or friend, about how you’re feeling. You may even find they’re on the same page as you. That way, you can offer each other support no matter how you feel about the world reopening. Keep in mind, everyone will re-engage with the world around them at their own pace, so don’t feel rushed or slowed down by those around you. There is no ‘right time’ — the right time is whenever you feel comfortable.
Make a list of what you’re excited for
Taking a pen to paper is always a great way to get thoughts out and sorted. It’s an especially fun exercise when you’re making a list of what you’re excited for! Almost everyone had to give up things they were looking forward to during the pandemic — getting these on paper can help you:
- Organize your thoughts
- Make a real plan to start checking items off the list
- Calm post-pandemic anxiety by offering positive things to look forward to
Remember, these items don’t have to be elaborate or fancy. They can be as simple as grabbing a bevvy from your favourite bar. Or taking a walk to that coffee shop you’ve always wanted to try. Or even heading to your salon to get your first post-pandemic haircut. The goal is to see all the upcoming opportunities for fun and connection.
Ease back in slowly
You may feel the need to make up for lost time! However your body may not be ready to pile on events and outings. Instead of packing in lunches, dinners, and weekend trips all in one week, try slowly easing back into get-togethers. That way you’re less likely to face exhaustion. It’s important that these new moments of social interaction feel like positive experiences, especially after being away for so long.
Know when to say ‘no’
Though you may feel excited to start attending social events, a part of you might still feel hesitant or overwhelmed by the idea of being around other people. That’s completely normal after spending such a prolonged period of time away from others. If you’re unsure, check-in with your mind and body before committing to plans. And remember: it’s more than okay to say no.
Reach out to a professional to calm post-pandemic anxiety
Speaking to a mental health professional can be immensely helpful in dealing with post-pandemic anxiety as the world re-opens. A trained counsellor can help you unpack difficult thoughts and feelings, and equip you with the tools to cope with anxiety as it shows up. Wellin5 can help. Get matched with an online counsellor who meets your specific needs. With the flexibility of online counselling, you can book meetings whenever they’re convenient for you and your schedule.