If you are dealing with the stress and anxiety of sharing a world with COVID-19, then you are not alone. As the pandemic nears the end, many are left with the pressing task of re-entering society and acclimating to the new normal. Such a task can leave you dealing with reentry anxiety.
Reentry anxiety can most closely be defined as the uneasiness of returning to the old social norms. These norms can include:
- Holding hands
- Social gatherings
Getting back to the old normal may be easier for some than for others. It is essential to understand the populations that are most at risk.
Engage in something meaningful
Taking part in something meaningful to you will help reduce anxiety. Perhaps taking up a new hobby or volunteering will be on the top of your list to keep busy and remain positive.
Additionally, if you see someone struggling with reentry anxiety, you can encourage them to participate with you. It will likely be more accessible for nervous people to engage in social activities if they have someone they trust by their side.
Acknowledge populations at higher risk for reentry anxiety
By recognizing the people at higher risk, such as senior citizens, we as a collective will be able to assist anxiety-ridden individuals in the reentry process better. (And helping others can count as engaging in something meaningful, too.)
With seniors exhibiting signs of reentry anxiety at disproportionate rates, remaining invested in the lives of aging folks in your life can make all the difference in the post-COVID era. Ensure your elderly loved ones feel equipped to curb anxiety symptoms and help them establish a fitness and health routine. Not only will these seniors reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, but the endorphin-boosting powers of physical exercise will help the elderly folks in your inner circle maintain a positive mental health outlook. Some seniors may benefit from investing in mobility aids such as an upright walker to assist them in reaching their highest level of physical health as they reenter the in-person world.
Focus on what you can control
When you focus on what you can control, it makes the change easier to cope with. Doing things such as following the Covid-19 procedures outlined by the CDC could help you gain control over what you can do.
Connect with others
As isolating as dealing with Covid-19 has been, it has become easy to keep to yourself and refrain from connecting with others altogether. However, now that restrictions are becoming less and less, connecting with others will be a great idea as you can share stories and find similar hobbies. The key is to go at your own pace while finding new ways to connect.
Schedule time to worry
It may seem counterproductive to schedule time to worry as many think that the goal of overcoming anxiety is to worry less. However, it can be highly productive to schedule time to think about whatever is troubling you during your day.
When you have set aside an amount of time out of each day to worry, it will free up the rest of your day to not stress over everything and focus on the positives. If worries pop up throughout the day, you can postpone them until your designated time.
Although living in the land of COVID-19 has been a total whirlwind, there are tips and tricks that you can use to cope. By keeping healthy, connecting with others, scheduling time to worry, engaging in meaningful activities, and focusing on the things you can control, you will be well on your way to conquering the reentry process and making it a little less painful overall.