What used to be familiar to us, such as going out in public without covering our faces or hugging someone, is no longer familiar. As more people are getting vaccinated and more things are opening up, it can still be nerve-wracking to get back into our ordinary routine. As the world reopens and we heal from the pandemic, it is important to combat your anxiety by being open to what you are and are not comfortable with.
Engaging in Eye Contact
You may be filled with anxiety looking at people you do not live with, cashiers, or coworkers you normally see through your computer screen. Since interaction through a screen or wearing a mask has been normal for a year, you may not feel like looking someone in the eye but looking down or away once you start interacting with more people in person. Eye contact can be very contagious as looking someone in the eye and sharing a little smile can make them do the same thing, relieving your anxiety when you are with them. Eye contact is the first way to reconnect with someone and show that you care.
Physical Contact with Others
The safety guidelines of the pandemic taught us not to shake hands with others to avoid the possibility of spreading germs that belong to the COVID-19 virus. We tend to be social people where it is only natural to extend a hand or offer a hug. The problem is the pandemic has made it normal for us to pull back from doing so. If you are still feeling nervous about hugging or shaking hands, do not be afraid to tell others. This can establish a connection, and they may have empathy for you.
Going Back to Work
Working at home has allowed you not to worry about encountering people and the risk of contracting COVID-19. When you return to the office, you may experience a loss of control over your routine and health. It could be hard for you to interact in person again and make an effort to look nice to your superiors. To avoid letting your anxiety get the best of your work performance, be prepared for what you can control, such as carrying hand sanitizer and wearing a mask. While you may be worried, your anxiety symptoms should start to subside as you readapt to society — do what makes you comfortable.
The COVID-19 pandemic will be easier once more people are vaccinated, which means more things will open with more opportunities for interaction. This can lead people with anxiety to feel stressed in reacclimating towards going back to work or interacting with people in person. At Alta Loma, we understand the struggles of going back to what used to be the normal routine. Located in Georgetown, Texas, we can provide you with the tools you need to tackle this brave new world again, such as individualized therapy, life, and coping skills education, and more. Please call (866) 457-3843 for more information.