How to Manage Anxiety Over Returning to the ‘New Normal’

Photo by cottonbro on

If I got a nickel for every time I heard (or said) the phrase “These are uncertain times”…

The initial COVID-19 shutdown created a wave of anxiety when it was first implemented, but with humans being such adaptable creatures, many people seem to have quickly gotten used to the changes.  The recent easing of restrictions can be causing some mental distress and folks have a lot of questions and uncertainty.  Some are wondering if it’s OK to go back to business-as-usual.  Things like wearing masks in public, social distancing, and seeing bottles of hand sanitizer everywhere can cause feelings of worry and panic.   Is this the “new normal”?  How long will this last?  Is it really safe?

I found this helpful article from Happiful about returning to a pre-pandemic way of life, and I felt it was important to share.  I know personally, I have recently found myself feeling very conflicted–sometimes eagerly making plans with friends and family that I haven’t seen in ages, and then feeling anxious or overwhelmed when the time for those activities actually arrives.  I’m amazed at how my desire for travel, concerts, and fine dining has mostly been extinguished and how content I am sitting safely alone at home.  Then other times, I get such an itch to go into the city and see a comedy show or go to a museum.  It’s easy to get bored and frustrated, especially when you live alone.  These feelings wax and wane as the days march on, and I have finally become OK with allowing my mind to change frequently; we’re in uncharted territory and nobody really knows what will happen, so the best thing we can do is be kind to ourselves.

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