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Post-Pandemic Reentry Anxiety

24 May 2021

With vaccinations left and right, the dwindling infected population, and most countries entirely fighting off the virus, we are a step closer to getting back on our regular pre-pandemic tracks.

Many people are celebrating this win and hoping that we get to it as soon as possible. However, rather than joy and hope, you dread going back to the routine that you have before the pandemic struck.

Sounds familiar? This feeling is the "reentry anxiety."

This type of anxiety is the stress that comes with the thought of getting our everyday lives back. It may include distress about reporting back at your office instead of the usual confines of your home office. It can be about adjusting your schedules because the traffic and commute are terrible. You may also feel the social anxiety of feeling obligated to attend events or parties once the restriction gets lifted. These mere day-to-day events can trigger post-pandemic anxiety as it bears a considerable weight of pandemic-related depression and grief on everyone's minds.

The clinically diagnosed with any anxiety disorder may feel the reentry anxiety and those who have no history of mental disorders.

The uncertainty is taxing, but here are a few ways that you can ease the burden off your shoulders as the world returns to normal.

1. Take it slowly but surely.

After spending so much time holed up in our households, you may feel as if you'll never want to take your liberty for granted again. It's enticing to arrange a party, a restaurant date, and a weekend getaway in the same week. Even then, you may want to refrain from making too many arrangements at once.

Learn to say no because you need to maintain a healthy pace now that the world is going back to normal.

Otherwise, you risk draining and being dissatisfied with every plan that you made. Then, after being disappointed, you might blame yourself for not feeling great when you and your friends met again.

Other than that, tread cautiously. Introduce new activities gradually by meeting with one friend at a time or by planning shorter local excursions. Be gentle with your social reintegration; otherwise, you risk burning out by taking on too much of something all at once.

2. List it all

Establishing a post-pandemic checklist allows you to change your attention from inevitable worries to the positive experiences that await you, ingraining a sense of hope and enthusiasm in the course of your social reintegration.

Your list does not need to be lavish or ambitious; it can be just as interesting to list all the hospital visits, makeovers, and shopping mall visits you've put off during the pandemic.

This list can push you to move forward and enjoy everything that the world has to offer now that the borders are opening and you get to spend more time outside of the house.

3. Ready, Set, Glow

We have stayed cooped up inside our rooms for too long that some of us have neglected our hygiene and some self-care.

As you are still unsure about going out, why not focus on yourself first so that you will have an enviable glow as you go out into society.

The glow-up may sound superficial, but it is more than lathering on fancy lotions and losing a few pounds. A glow-up does not necessarily mean a physical manifestation because you can be radiant in many other ways.

For example, learn a new skill that you have been telling yourself to practice, but you just tend to forget about it. Taking your time to master a skill will undeniably make you happier, resulting in a coveted glow-up.

Aside from learning a new skill, you can also practice your sociability as you reintroduce yourself to the world behind your four walls. You may be having a hard time being confident, but fake it until you make it. You would not even notice that you are faking it anymore as you meet your friends again once the restrictions are lifted.

We have covered a mental and social aspect of yourself, and it is now time for the easiest to fix-- a physical glow-up.

To give yourself a radiant glow, you can drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. This small habit will yield excellent results as you find your skin to be more plump and hydrated than ever. Spot treat any blemish that you have with a gentle yet effective solution that would do more good than harm to your skin.

Besides your skin, brush your hair every day to keep it lustrous and free of tangles that would make you look unkempt for ages. A healthy head of hair will also show how much you take care of yourself, making people think that you never forgot to practice self-love.

You can also update your wardrobe by removing the styles that no longer connect to your soul and personality. Donate the clothes that no longer make you happy and stick to more basics with a little pop of trendy style in the most minimum amount you can get. Avoiding anything too trendy will help you get dressed faster in the morning as you now have clothes that look good with everything inside your closet.

4. Accept and you would be fine

As everything will go back to normal, your point of view about everything else would remain cautious and afraid of the changes. But you do not need to worry as all of those are real human emotions that are a collective experience. What you can do is to accept that the world will keep revolving and you will get better in time. Remember, time heals all wounds.

If your emotions are getting too much to handle, accepting that you need professional help would do wonders for you. These people's careers are to help people like you get through any type of trauma. Furthermore, you need to stop blaming yourself for your emotions as things happen even to those who look like they got themselves together.

Just be brave, reach out, and you will be fine.