Did you find that your mental health was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic? Many people struggled with a variety of stressors throughout the pandemic. Essential workers had to risk exposure to the virus daily.
Many parents had to learn how to support their children through remote school while working from home. Some people suffered long-term symptoms after catching the virus. Others lost their loved ones to this disease.
Countless people found themselves out of work and struggling financially. And all of us had to adjust to social distancing, living in isolation, and modifying our routines and schedules based on changing public health recommendations.
After such a challenging year and a half, you might suffer from anxiety at the thought of re-entering the world and trying to go back to “normal.” These tips can help you remedy your post-pandemic anxiety.
Take It Slow
You might feel the pressure to snap back to “normal” right away. But you have no obligations to immediately return to your old routines. Instead, try to take your time with gradual adjustments.
Can you work from home a few days per week before returning to the office full time? Could you attend one or two small social events with a few of your loved ones before RSVPing to larger gatherings?
Move at your own pace to navigate this complicated transitional phase.
Practice Coping Techniques
You may still have days when your stress levels feel overwhelming. But practicing coping methods for stress relief can help you manage these difficult emotions. For instance, you may want to begin meditating for a few minutes daily.
This can enable you to feel grounded and present, even in emotionally trying situations. You can also express yourself in a journal, do yoga at home or outdoors, or go for long walks to calm down when you’re feeling distressed.
Try to incorporate some of these habits into your daily routines.
Healthy Physical Habits
Even if you did not contract COVID-19, your physical health may have suffered during the pandemic. Perhaps you weren’t able to exercise as often as you used to. Maybe scrolling through frightening headlines kept you awake at night. And maybe you found it difficult to eat healthy when you were stressed.
These reactions are completely understandable. However, your physical health is connected to your mental health, and this could influence your anxiety levels.
Set Comfortable Boundaries
Do you feel like people in your life are pressuring you to simply get back to “normal” far too quickly? Alternatively, do you have loved ones who aren’t respecting your current comfort levels?
For instance, maybe you’re not ready to be indoors with others without a mask, or perhaps you don’t want to travel yet, but someone is encouraging you to go on a family vacation.
If so, it’s time to set some boundaries and let your loved ones know which activities you’re not ready to participate in yet.
Talk to a Therapist
Finally, you might benefit from talking to a therapist. Maybe you want to work on some specific coping skills, or perhaps you want to break down the negative beliefs that are making it tough for you to return to your old routines and habits.
A therapist can help you with all of this and more. If you do not want to meet with someone in person yet, you can seek therapists who are offering appointments online or over the phone.