The year is 2023, COVID numbers are dwindling, looks like the pandemic is finally ending, people are starting to come out of their homes and get back to everyday life. How exactly can we go back to our lives? Do I still need to mask up everywhere, what about sanitizing my hands, do I still social distance? We have the answers to these questions and will give you every tip and trick to get back to your old life safely and ease your anxiety.
Set realistic expectations
Adventuring out into the world may cause some anxiety while you try to figure out what is ok to do and what is still considered not safe. Unfortunately, COVID is here to stay, yes, the numbers are down from pandemic levels, but truthfully it will always be here, just like the flu, we need to learn to live with it. Anxiety will be prevalent, but completely normal, especially when letting go of habits, like social distancing, and wearing masks.
It’s also likely social interactions will feel awkward at first, most of us have been so secluded, that meeting people in real life kind of feels weird. It’ll be hard, but repeated practice will help it feel normal again. Just be realistic, you will have some awkwardness, frustration, and annoyance at first, but it will all get easier with time and practice.
Live for yourself, not others.
One thing we learned while quarantining at our homes, is how to provide for ourselves, whether it be starting our own business because ours closed from the pandemic, learning how to make things, because stores were closed, or we couldn’t get out to go to the store. When it’s time to go out and back to the office, you will start to notice how much time is wasted travelling back and forth in traffic, how much gas costs thanks to inflation, and how boring it is to sit in your car at the crack of down to get to your cubicle.
There are a few things you can do to solve these issues. First, you can quit your job and open your own business, it’s a risk, but it’s possible it could flourish, but not everyone is meant to own a business, you might like your job, just not how you get there and the time it takes. So, let’s look at different transportation to get you to your 9-5 job. The car, great mileage, popular option, but maintenance, and gas prices being what they are, it’s the expensive option. There is the bike, a good option, but can be tiring, and can only go as fast as you can pedal it, plus lugging it around can be tedious.
The next option would be the electric scooter, they have a great range, are electric so you don’t have to worry about gas prices, and some even come with the option of being foldable so you can carry it with you wherever you go. VarlaScooters seem to be the best option economically, plus they are environment friendly, so it can reduce the greenhouse gasses and your carbon footprint.
Go at your own pace
Things are different today than they were before COVID. You might not feel comfortable yet going on a trip or getting together with a large group of friends. Don’t force yourself to try to get back to a completely normal state. Remember, this is a “new normal” or a “next normal.” It doesn’t mean everyone will want to pick up exactly where they left off before the pandemic.
I think there’s a lot of societal pressure to make up for the lost year, But that’s not the case. That’s just societal pressure. You should be doing things at your own pace. Take a day off work, have a safe ride on your Varla Pegasus to the town square, enjoy some food from the food trucks, or small businesses in your area, or just simply take a ride and feel the wind in your hair. Your mental health is important, not only during the pandemic but also after as well.
Take small, positive steps
Knowing all of this may help lessen–but not erase–your anxiety and depression, which may linger for a while. In the meantime, it is suggested that easing back into life at your own comfort level is best. If you have been isolating and have not been outdoors, start with small steps such as walking to the corner, she advises. Practice building on this experience as your confidence grows.
Keep in mind that having one foot out of your comfort zone is a good thing because it suggests you are stretching yourself. Practicing mindfulness is a useful skill to cope with general anxiety, she continues. Mindfulness is about paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment.
Paying attention to the present moment is the opposite of ruminating and being stuck in one’s head in unproductive worry. To cope with specific anxiety about returning to work, school, or socializing, its suggested building your stress resistance by getting enough sleep, exercising, practicing yoga and or meditation, or talking to a friend.
It’s also warned against excessive intake of the media, particularly social media, as well as over-indulging in alcohol or food.
Anxious individuals may use substances to avoid the way they are feeling so be careful of excessive alcohol or other emotion numbing strategies such as overeating. As you work through your anxiety, try to remember that you are not alone. COVID has struck everyone in one way or another and many people may be feeling as anxious as you. If you have previously struggled with anxiety or depression, then you may want to seek professional help.
You may join a group therapy program to work on your social anxiety. Whatever you do, try to practice self-compassion and care, and don’t feel compelled to hide your feelings. Sharing them will encourage others to share theirs, which may help you to feel better and less alone in the long run.