Most of us over the past year have been unhappy with living a life in lockdown, wondering when we can mingle socially with others. Finally, with vaccines rolling out and most herd immunity developing, society is beginning to open back up.
For many, it may be a pleasure to return to life outside of the home. But many are experiencing what some psychologists call re-entry anxiety.
Anxiety is a normal reaction to a very stressful situation.
Mental health experts have suggested that two groups of people are most likely to experience re-entry anxiety. The first being those who have had a lingering fear that they will either catch or helped to spread the virus.
The second group could be those that feel their social skills have withered while in lockdown. They may find being around many people and holding their end of the conversation as awkward, exhausting and challenging.
These are traits of social anxiety around the process of re-entry after lockdown lifts.
However, avoiding social situations will only make anxiety worse. Psychologists agree that the longer you avoid the thing that makes you nervous, the harder it will be to face it.
Set Small Goals
It is essential to set small goals for yourself. You may want to set up a small get together with one or two others. Don’t feel the need to jump into the deep end right away and attend a large gathering; slowly acclimatise yourself.
Getting Help for Re-entry or Social Anxiety.
Globally, we have faced a significant trauma this past year, and we must be gentle with ourselves.
A therapist can help you navigate the stress and anxiety you may be dealing with and offer ways to feel safer and more robust in the world.
If you’d like to discuss this more, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. I’d be more than happy to discuss how I may be able to support you. I am seeing my clients online globally and in my office in Hove.