RE-ENTRY ANXIETY IS REAL, HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO TO SOOTHE THE NERVES
From North America to New Zealand, governments have started to re-open their economies, slowly encouraging people to go out and about.
While some individuals have jumped at the opportunity, many others continue to hunker down at home for fear of exposure to COVID-19.
This is normal.
After all, most people have been in lockdown since early March, if not beforehand. Feeling apprehensive about resuming our ‘normal’ day to day activities is, therefore, understandable. The COVID-19 pandemic upended our daily lives and completely redefined what’s normal.
For some, wiping down groceries with a disinfectant is now their new normal. For others, it’s lathering their hands in hand sanitizer every time they touch anything outside their homes. Still, for others, it’s wearing a mask, gloves, and a face shield… with some even adding goggles to the mix.
Though in some places it is safer now to go out than before, that doesn’t mean that the risk to contract COVID-19 sits at zero. The reality is that many individuals will catch the virus in the coming months.
This doesn’t make matters easier for those who are not yet ready to ‘go back to normal’.
The good news is that as time passes, scientists’ understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is continuously increasing. So even though we are still some ways from having access to a vaccine, there is definitely a better understanding of where there is more risk for transmission and what types of activities could be deemed low vs high-risk.
Re-entry anxiety is not just about going back to the workplace, though this certainly seems to be a common denominator for many professionals. Re-entry anxiety is also about returning to use public transportation on a regular basis, eating out at restaurants, hitting your favorite bar, going to the mall, or even just getting together with some friends.
How to Ease Re-Entry Anxiety
Though it can be hard to deal with this anxiety, there are some strategies that people can use to soothe the nerves and find it in themselves to slowly resume pre-pandemic normal activities.
In fact, some level of anxiety can even be healthy, as it can encourage individuals to follow public-health guidelines and follow protocols that can help protect them and others around them (i.e. use of a face mask, physical distancing while waiting in line, washing their hands more often, etc.).
Anxiety can become a problem when it interferes with someone’s daily life. In this case, anxiety can be harmful when people are scared of leaving their house and when they’re avoiding resuming low-risk activities like going for a walk in the park.