About a year ago, it was hard to imagine what life would be like today. Now, looking back, in the midst of a global pandemic, it’s difficult to imagine life as it used to be. No wonder some are resisting the shift back to their old routine. Yes, COVID-19 Re-Entry Anxiety is real, and it’s becoming prevalent as we slowly return to society. Still at some point, we’ve got to get back to living. So while quarantine restrictions are slowly lifting and more people are becoming vaccinated, there’s a few things we can do to ease our way back into the world without developing COVID-19 Re-Entry Anxiety.
If you haven’t left the house much over the last year, don’t just suddenly rip off the Band-Aid and walk into the most crowded marketplace you can find. Start small and plan a hike with a few friends. Then work your way up from there. It’s all about slowly confronting your sources of fear with a little more exposure each time. Doctors call it “exposure therapy.”
When something is making you anxious, you should confront the issue as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the worse your anxieties become. Not only does social isolation have short term health implications, it can impact mental health long-term. This doesn’t mean you should throw a party, because there’s still a ban on large gatherings. However, a little light outdoor socialization (with a mask on) is a great way to start.
Look at the big picture
Those who suffer the most from COVID-19 Re-Entry Anxiety, should always try to look at the big picture. A good thing to do would be to ask yourself, “what truly makes me happy?” Most of the time the answer is “family,” “the outdoors,” and “returning back to life.” Let the big picture be a major motivator to overcoming fears that in comparison might start to seem small.
If someone you know is in a similar phase of life like you are, get together and buddy up. You can support each other throughout the re-entry process. It’s always better to go through something together instead of facing an uphill battle alone.
Help is available if you need it
For some people this will be a breeze. For others it takes a little bit more strength and determination. If you come to a roadblock, just remember all of us here at SCL Health are here to help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a mental health professional.