Peeling Back The Pandemic Feels
Though times are still a bit “unprecedented” (who would’ve ever thought we’d be hearing that word as much as we do today), the world is certainly starting to find its footing back into normalcy.
Sure, it feels so refreshing to be able to go places and see people and hug and laugh together again.
But that refreshing feeling doesn’t quite cover it all.
Sudden feelings of anxiety are spiking all over the world, and yet again, it’s COVID-19 to blame.
Curbing post-pandemic anxiety is becoming more and more of a hot topic as people begin to realize how stressful re-entering the real world is actually going to be.
Humans are resilient creatures in nature, so of course we’ll bounce back to the best of our ability. Just like we quickly adjusted to standing six feet apart and wearing our masks, we’ll re-adjust to a new way of life post-pandemic.
That’s not to say there won’t be trepidation.
Thoughts of entering a stadium for a concert or sports event may leave your head spinning in a skirt of worry.
Imagining sitting inside of a restaurant surrounded by more than 6 people might make you tap on Skip The Dishes for the 103rd time.
Walking past a bowling alley is likely to make you dig for hand sanitizer faster than you can bowl a strike. (Who can blame you on that one. Why did we think it was ok to put our fingers into random balls’ holes and then eat and drink all at the same time?).
What I’m trying to say is, no matter where your thoughts are on the idea of getting back to some type of way of life, everyone’s going to be at a different stage. And that’s ok!
Here are some tips on coping with your post-pandemic anxiety so you can feel a little bit more confident and at ease the next time you’re stepping out into society:
Go at your own pace. There’s no rush to attend every single event and hit up every restaurant right off the bat. Evaluate what feels comfortable to you and move to the beat of your own drum.
Studies show that some of us grow stronger from stressful times. Whether this means having a new appreciation for your social circle, family, or freedom, or spending time alone, these are things you should be proud of for recognizing in yourself.
When you find yourself feeling those feelings of anxiety or stress, feel them. Acknowledge them. And name them. Pinpoint why you’re feeling that way and work backwards to help yourself come out of that place by uncovering what you really need.
Plan. Rather than heading out into a group function without any knowledge about the event, plan ahead. Ask how many people will be attending, if there’ll be live music, what the safety protocols will be. Do all you can to ensure you’re as comfortable as you can be.
Know your boundaries. What are you really willing to endure on a night out or a day trip? How many hours can you stay stimulated out in a crowd? Set these straight in your mind beforehand and you’ll be prepared to escape as soon as you hit your limit.
There are plenty of ways to come out of this post-pandemic stress feeling more and more like yourself every day.
I think it’s important to remember that the normal we knew before is no longer a normal we’ll have the pleasure of knowing. We’re welcoming a new normal, one that is hopefully a little kinder to one another, more understanding, patient, and of course, loving of Purell.