Not Everyone’s Ready For The Real World Again
After what feels like forever, the world is opening back up.
In the US, many states are back to the way they were pre-pandemic.
In many countries, tourism is possible again.
And despite flare-ups that are still serious, including here, people seem intent on getting everything back to the way it was before.
Which just begs the question…
What if you’re not quite ready to go back to the way things were?
Sure, we’re all up for a cannonball dive into a cold pool on January 1st, but that’s only because we know we’ve got hot chocolate and dry towels waiting for us after.
If you’ve got deeper concerns about your health - or the health of your family - you’re plenty justified to be wary. In fact, therapists across the country say that adjusting to your everyday life with a sense of anxiety is normal.
Others provide helpful guidelines about how to recognize when what you’re feeling is more than just shyness or introversion but social anxiety.
So if that’s you - or if you’ve got a loved one who’s not quite feeling up to the way things were quite yet - read on because we’ve got 3 ideas for dipping your toes back into the water (and saving up that cannonball for January 1st):
Recognize that it’s not your fault - You may be feeling a lot of pressure to pick up doing everything as you did before - or even trying to make up for last time - and feeling anxious about it certainly doesn’t help. Instead of denying it, Mental Health SF suggests the first step to reduce that trapped feeling is to acknowledge your feelings.
Get out there - If crowded spaces and pub crawls aren’t your ideal way to restart, try exploring somewhere new. Finding a new local trail for a hike is not only a nice way to spend time with a few friends (instead of the whole bar) but it can also lower blood pressure and stress.
- Set small goals - Big changes and unknown outcomes can bring about stress, and as much as people might say we’re getting back to how we used to do things, that’s not entirely true. Besides, even considering the difference between working remotely and only seeing a few friends at a time to regular outings can be a big difference. Anxieties.com breaks down how setting short-term goals can make it easier to handle your worries, so instead of making it your one Big Goal to get back to doing everything as you did it before, focus on small wins, like that hike with friends or a cup of coffee with a coworker.
One encouraging way to keep setting small goals is to have something to work toward, like this pack of IRLA Achievement Coins built around getting out there and pushing past your comfort zone. Focusing on small wins like these could be just the way to avoid the all-at-once newness of our new normal.
How about you? Have you had any troubles adjusting, and what did you do to help get back to feeling like yourself again?