Going back to how it once was before the pandemic is no easy task. There are increased chances that there are a lot of people who feel just the same amount of anxiety as you do. Whether it is going back to the office, boarding a plane, sharing a meal at a restaurant, or attending a large gathering, you may feel understandably anxious. In fact, this level of anxiety is the same for those who are vaccinated and to those who aren’t.
According to a recent study by the American Psychological Association, nearly half of respondents (49%) said they feel uneasy about adjusting to in-person interaction while adults who received a COVID-19 vaccine were just as likely as those who had not received a vaccine to say this (48% vs. 49%). For that reason, you need to take steps to manage anxiety is an act of controlling your mental health.
Here are five tips for coping with re-entry anxiety:
What you can’t vs what you can control
Becoming clear about what you can or can’t control is one of the steps in order to reduce your anxiety. You may not be able to set the time and place of an event, but you can exert control on where you sit or who you interact with and for what length of time. Having these tiny changes to your day can boost your sense of control which will likely decrease your fears. Being overwhelmed generally comes from feeling you’re unable to control things or you’re uncertain of an outcome.
Take small breaks to calm yourself
If all becomes too much to bear, don’t hesitate to take a break. Remove yourself from the group for a few moments to give yourself much-needed respite. Take deep breaths to calm your nerves. Even when you are with others and can’t get away for a few moments, you can still be mindful of your breath from where you are. Focusing on this, even for a few seconds, can give you a sense of inner calm.
Even when you are with a group of people you know, anxiety can still creep up on you. The worst part is that it makes you feel isolated at the same time even when you are not alone. At times like these, it’s best to seek help from a professional licensed therapist. Otherwise, you can choose to look for one person that you can talk to during the social gatherings. This ought to give you a sense of peace and calm, for you are in your presence.
Choose to share something positive
The way we present ourselves can also impact how we physically feel. You can start by talking about something uplifting. Though it may feel superficial at first, but it can spark joy in your mood. Not only that, but viewing a situation through a lens of optimism improves your emotional well-being.
Give yourself something to look forward to
If are anxious even before the event is beginning, think of positive things that you are looking forward to. Once your goal is complete, it can help to relax both the mind and body. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated and can even be simple things that brings you joy. A favorite movie, cup of tea, or calling a friend are just some ideas you can apply to your life. Keep this in mind during your social engagement, and you will feel more relaxed during the process.
Which tip intrigues you the most? What are the tips you want to apply once this pandemic is over? Tell us in the comments section below!