It's normal to feel anxious about a post-COVID future. We've spent over a year living under various rules and regulations. Our day-to-day lives are continuously changing and are a far cry from what they used to be. Anxiety stems from feeling out of control or powerless. The Coronavirus pandemic positioned us all in an unprecedented situation where we had little to no power. Post-COVID anxiety is going to affect almost all of us to an extent.
Numerous things might be inspiring your post-COVID anxiety: health concerns, socialising, being around large numbers of people. Whatever is making you feel anxious about entering society post-covid is completely normal and totally valid. To regain a sense of control and help reduce your post-COVID anxiety, we’re sharing a few ways you can take control of your life and live life in a way that feels comfortable for you.
The past year has been a year of small steps and gradual change. Throwing yourself head first into situations you're not comfortable in is only going to worsen your experience. If post-COVID anxiety is getting to you, it might be because you're thinking of returning to the life you lived before the pandemic. If this life was intensely busy and running at high speed, returning to this after living at a much slower pace is daunting!
No one is expecting you to return to the life you lived before. Slow things down, and don't put too much pressure on yourself. Easing yourself into these experiences will make you more comfortable and will make the big events less intimidating in the long run.
Acknowledge And Accept Your Feelings
One of the first steps to overcoming any form of anxiety is acknowledging how you feel. You'll be surprised by the power and relief you'll feel from simply accepting and sitting with your feelings. You’re not the only one suffering from post-COVID anxiety, and these feelings will pass.
Suppressing your emotions will only cause them to re-emerge later down the line. We're all human, and we've all been through a draining, life-changing experience. Acknowledge your feelings and accept how your body is reacting to these dramatic changes.
Vocalise Your Worries
Once internally acknowledging your post-COVID anxiety, vocalise it. Share with those closest to you or a mental health professional how you're feeling. These are the people in your life that can help you feel better and live an enjoyable anxiety-free life. People around you are likely experiencing something similar, and sharing your emotions can alleviate stress and make you feel less alone in your experiences.
Seek Out People You’re Most Comfortable With
The past year has shown us who we seek out in times of need and hardship. In some ways, we're lucky to have this distinction in our lives; we now know who is truly there for us and who we naturally gravitate to. Utilise this understanding and reach out to those who make you feel safe and supported. Don't force yourself to socialise with anyone for the sake of it (or to make them feel better). Reflect on what you need and act accordingly. If coffee with your best friend sounds better than cocktails with old work friends, that's fine! Make decisions that you're most comfortable with and feel good for you.
Our lives are changing once again, and it's natural to feel anxious about these changes. We might be glad to see the end of this awful pandemic, however, for many of us, the struggle isn't over. Post-COVID anxiety will affect many of us in different ways. The mindful steps outlined in this blog post should help you feel more in control of your post-COVID anxiety and allow you to live a life you love once again.