Tips for Re-Entering Society Post-Pandemic
It has been over a year since the world, and state of Pennsylvania, shut down because of the Covid-19 pandemic. As things begin to reopen, are you ready to get back out there? If you are feeling anxious, stressed, uncertain about re-entering society, you are not alone. This is an exciting, yet nerve-wracking time. We have all just been through a traumatic event. It is ok to feel whatever you are feeling.
This past year our mental health has been rattled. We have been faced with constant questions, uncertainty, fear of the unknown, loss of loved ones, time, and experiences. It has been nothing short of difficult. We aren’t expected to just dive right back into “normalcy.” It will take some time to adjust.
Here are some tips to help you as you make plans to re-enter society post-pandemic:
1.) Remember what you can control.
When things are out of control we often feel anxious and stressed, and right now there is a lot that is out of our control. But, not everything. There are some things you can control. Focus on those. For example, you can control when/if you get a vaccine, your personal distance to others, where you go to attend gatherings (outside vs inside), and whether you wear a mask. You can create your own personal boundaries. If you aren’t ready to do something yet, you don’t have to. You decide if you go or avoid the situation and you decide when to leave. It can help to make a list of all the positives to keep with you.
2.) Make a list of all the things you want to do.
There is so much that we missed out on last year — vacations, birthday parties, festivals, concerts, hugs from loved ones. Everything was canceled due to Covid-19. There was so much disappointment, but that isn’t the case this year. You can now do so many of the things around Pennsylvania, and the world, you wanted to do last year but couldn’t. Make a list of all the things you want to do and allow yourself to get excited. Boosting your excitement will help to ease some of those anxious feelings.
3.) Let yourself feel feelings.
Instead of trying to fight off (or ignore) whatever it is you are feeling, allow yourself to feel. If you are grieving a loss, anxious about attending events, or going into public, let yourself feel and accept those feelings. It is ok to be unsure, anxious, depressed, scared, sad, excited, happy, etc. Whatever it is that you are going through, it is ok. There is no one-way of feeling and no right or wrong way. It is completely normal to be struggling. Counseling can be a great help for anyone who isn’t sure how to move forward in this post-pandemic world.
4.) Move at your pace.
We all have different comfort levels. Some people have been ready to re-enter the world for months, while others have continued to stay cautious. It doesn’t matter where you are on the spectrum of post-pandemic readiness. Move at a pace you are comfortable with. If you aren’t ready for a concert or festival, or to send your children back to school, then don’t. If you aren’t ready for gatherings or returning to the office, be open with others. You decide what you are or are not willing to do.
5.) Stay up-to-date but don’t overdo it.
It is important that you know the latest information on what is safe and healthy and what is not. But, that doesn’t mean it is healthy to have the news on 24/7 or be glued to your devices. Disconnect. Recognize when you are feeling overwhelmed and turn it off. Get your information from reliable sources and leave the rest.
6.) Get help.
Living through a global pandemic is traumatic. We all went through big changes, transitions, tremendous loss, and personal tests. It is perfectly normal to be struggling. If you are having trouble moving forward or re-entering the post-pandemic world, consider seeing a counseling professional. A licensed therapist can help provide healthy coping tools so you can care for your mental health.
Ready to begin counseling in Pennsylvania?
Counselors at CW Psychological Services are professionally trained and licensed. We have openings for online, or telehealth, therapy appointments. Email us at [email protected] or call at (610) 308-7575. We are here for you.