Now that restrictions have finally began to ease and the country is reopening, people are jumping for joy.
Many are rushing to book dinner and drinks with friends, or jetting off abroad for a well-deserved break, but that isn’t the case for everyone.
If you’re feeling nervous or anxious about the world going back to “normal” and the return of a social life, you are not alone.
Here are some steps you can follow to ease your anxiety:
1. Write down how you’re feeling
Writing down how you feel and pinpointing why you’re feeling nervous is a great start.
Are you worried about contracting Covid-19? Are you nervous about up with people again or unsure how to act in social settings after months of being in lockdown?
Take a pen to paper and write down your thoughts and concerns to get a better understanding of why you are feeling anxious, and know that you are definitely not alone in feeling this way.
Don’t be afraid to chat to your friends or family about your worries – chances are they have experienced similar feelings the past few months and might be able to offer you some advice.
2. Start off small
Just because everything is reopening, doesn’t mean you have to say “yes” to every plan made. Start of small and only agree to what you’re comfortable doing.
Instead of committing to a big social gathering with a large group of people, maybe suggest going to dinner with a close friend you’re dying to catch up with.
If you’re not comfortable with the idea of going to a concert any time soon, you could always go to a local bar and listen to some live music there instead for a more intimate environment.
It’s been a long time since we’ve had full social calendars, and it’s okay to to keep your schedule small until you get used to being out and about again.
3. Make time for self care
Don’t burn yourself out! One important lesson we’ve learned this past year is the importance of looking after yourself and practising self-care.
Try setting aside at least one evening a week to check in on yourself and look after you.
Whether it’s taking a bath, getting out for a walk, journaling or watching a film, do something that makes you feel good.
While it’s great that we can start spending time with others again, you need to make sure you always have time for your most important relationship of all – your relationship with yourself.
This can really help ease your anxiety and bring you some zen in times you’re feeling overwhelmed.
4. Don’t compare
Social media can be deceiving, so try not to compare your social life to others.
We know our Instagram feeds have been flooded with images of people enjoying dinners, drinks and holidays, but if you’re not ready to head out and do the same – that’s completely okay too.
It’s important to remember that just because people look happy online, it doesn’t mean they haven’t struggled with post-pandemic anxiety too.
More people are feeling the same way than you think. Try to remember that real life vs social media is rarely an accurate comparison!
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
It’s okay not to be okay and there’s absolutely no shame in asking for help.
Try talking to a friend or family member if you’re finding the return to social life difficult. Talking about your feelings is a great way to start working through them and get a weight off your shoulders.
If it’s more than a few nervous jitters about reopening, it might be a good idea to get some more professional help to talk about your anxiety and your thoughts.
There are a number of helplines available to call to discuss how you’re feeling and get further advice.
Talking to your doctor about seeing a therapist or counselor is another option available if you need help to shake the feeling. Never be afraid to reach out for help!