How to Deal with Social Anxiety after COVID
Posted: July 1, 2021
It has been a very long year. Lockdowns and social distancing have had a profound impact on our hearts and minds. But thankfully, we are beginning to return to some kind of normal. While many people are jumping for joy with the idea of taking part in normal social gatherings and getting back to life pre-pandemic, there are also those individuals who are feeling a bit of social anxiety at the same time. Being social requires a set of skills. We learned as children how to interact with those around us. As we grew older, we learned even more of the intricate and complex social structures, rules, etc. Being away from society for a year or more has interrupted those skills for many of us. Here are some tips for dealing with any social anxiety you may be experiencing:
Be Kind to YourselfMany will find it absolutely exhausting trying to relearn all of the social skills they haven’t practiced in some time. It’s okay, you’re not the only one who is struggling right now. Just be kind and gentle with yourself.
Stick with Your Own Comfort LevelSome people may be feeling anxiety right now because they are unsure of how safe it is to be out in the world. If we’re honest, the media and local/federal government entities give us mixed signals. You can choose to set your own boundaries and determine what you feel comfortable with. Respect your own boundaries and comfort level and take things day by day.
Take Things Nice and EasyIf you haven’t worked out physically in some time, you wouldn’t, on your first day at the gym, run for an hour on the treadmill and THEN lift heavy weights afterward. You’d take things slow so as not to hurt yourself. Apply this same logic to your social life. If you feel out of shape socially, then take things slow. Don’t suddenly fill your social calendar with all kinds of activities and events. Start with a small gathering and go from there.
Speak with SomeoneIf you find your anxiety isn’t dissipating after some time, you may want to speak with a therapist. You can learn the tools to help you get back into a healthy and joyful life.