It has been a very long year since we first found out that we were in a pandemic.
Lockdowns and social distancing have had a profound impact on all of us. But thankfully, life is beginning to open back up slowly; we are beginning to return to pre-pandemic life.
Many people are excited and relieved with the idea of taking part in everyday social gatherings and getting back to life pre-pandemic.
However, many of us are feeling social anxiety at this time.
Being social requires a particular set of skills and energy. Unfortunately, being away from society has put a kink into these essential skills for many of us.
You may have learned how to roller skate as a kid, but if you haven’t put your boots on for years, there is a good chance you may find it challenging.
Below are some tips for dealing with any social anxiety you may be experiencing:
Be Kind to Yourself
Many will find it exhausting trying to relearn all of the social skills not practised in some time. It is important to remember you are not the only one struggling right now with re-entering the social world. Try to be kind and patient with yourself.
It makes sense that this is hard.
Be at Your Comfort Level
Many are feeling anxious because it does not feel completely safe to be out in the world. Unfortunately, the media does not help this when we receive mixed messages about what is going on.
Be aware of your boundaries and determine what you feel comfortable with. For example, if you’re not comfortable giving or receiving hugs, don’t feel pressured by someone else. Respect your boundaries and comfort level and take things day by day, situation by situation.
Nice and Easy
If you haven’t worked out physically in some time, you would not want to run for an hour on the treadmill on your first day and then lift heavy weights afterwards.
Instead, you would want to take things gradually so as not to hurt yourself.
Try to apply this to your social life. If you feel out of shape socially, take things slow.
Don’t feel the need to suddenly fill your social calendar with all kinds of activities and events. Instead, start with a small gathering and go from there.
Speak with Someone
If you find your anxiety isn’t dissipating after some time, you may want to speak with a trained professional.
Do not hesitate to contact me. I would be happy to talk through how I work. I am seeing clients in my office in Hove and globally online.