Being in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic was not a whole lot of fun. It left all of us feeling isolated, depressed, and anxious throughout the duration of our lockdown experience.
Now that things are starting to turn around, more businesses have opened, people are being more social, and going back to what life was like before the coronavirus pandemic struck.
This can become quite a culture shock to some, especially if they are very fearful of the pandemic and if they’ve become so accustomed to life in lockdown. There are ways for managing your social anxiety after COVID-19 lockdown has ended.
Don’t Rush Back Into It
Almost from one week to the next, it seemed as if life was finally getting back to normal after the COVID-19 shutdown was lifted. So, as a result of the lockdown ending, more and more people would be outside of their homes.
This could cause some fear and anxiety amongst others who may be too afraid to leave their homes. When it comes to having anxiety of engaging in social situations, it’s important to ease into it. You never want to rush yourself into participating in social situations, especially if you’re not ready.
For those who live with social anxiety, the transition from quarantine to social living can be excruciating. It’s a daunting thought for those who have social anxiety, especially when they’ve lived the last few months in quarantine.
When you enter back into regular society, do so slowly and gradually. Try leaving your home once a day, even if it’s for 20 minutes. Go to the grocery store, a walk in the park, or just get active in one way or another. And, as you’re out and about, try interacting with someone, even if it’s for 20 seconds.
If you’re still not quite ready for that, then you can stay connected to others online! Have a video chat with a friend or family member. Text and talk on the phone throughout the day. If you work from home, try to take a break from the computer every hour by taking a brief walk outside.
Don’t spend too much time on social media! Breathe some fresh air and enjoy the world around you. This will help you to slow ease back into regularly everyday living. That way, you can get more comfortable engaging with others and being placed back in a social setting.
Face Your Fears
Those with anxiety disorders find it very difficult to speak to others face to face. If you have an anxiety disorder, you may feel anxious, nervous, or scared to be in any type of social situation. It’s perfectly acceptable to have an anxious reaction about getting back into the world.
You should always try to socialize to your comfort level. Don’t do anything that makes you feel overly uncomfortable or tense. However, you don’t want to live in fear of the real world forever. Eventually, you must face your fears.
Regaining the confidence to step back into regularly every day living is a long term life practice. No one becomes willing, ready or fearless overnight. Try spending time with friends and family at first, then you can slowly transition into normal situations where you have to interact with strangers.
You still want to practice physical distancing, since we’re all not out of the gate yet with regards to COVID-19. You should still keep yourself at a safe distance, always wear your face mask, and wash your hands frequently. But, try to be a bit more social and face your fears in a healthy, productive way.
First things first, you must prioritize your health. Practicing self-care will help you to manage anxiety and depression. Exercising regularly, eating well, learning breathing exercises or meditation, and engaging in self-reflective therapeutic practices can help you to manage your social anxiety quite effectively.
In fact, research has proven that practicing self-care is even more effective than taking medication for anxiety and depression. In addition to the physical elements of self-care, your mental health should also be equally as prioritized.
Speaking to a professional about your fears is a healthy outlet for dealing with and overcoming your fears. You could try speaking to a psychologist or psychiatrist about the social anxiety issues that are plaguing your life.
A psychiatrist may even prescribe you an antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication to help alleviate your symptoms. You may even respond well to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for those living with social anxiety as an effective treatment.
Make sure to practice self-care both physically and mentally. Speaking to a professional openly about your mental health conditions, significant fears, childhood traumas, or relationships can help you to significantly heal from your wounds.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that humans are social beings. It’s in our nature to engage in social interactions with others. We were never meant to be locked up in an enclosed space for very long periods.
It’s essential that we stick to our roots to the best of our abilities. If you have trouble engaging with others naturally, then there is a solution. Our physicians and mental health experts can develop a treatment plan for you to help you face your fears and become the best version of you that you can be.
Call The Medical Centre of Lehigh Acres today to speak to a healthcare professional about your options.