How to Alleviate Post-Pandemic Anxiety

Everyone seems excited that things are slowly going “back to normal” and I’m also eager to start seeing my friends and travel again, however I still feel like there is so much more work to be done before everything is “back to normal”. I also am unsure if things will ever be what we think of as “normal” again. Will we need to get a yearly vaccination for COVID? Will we have to wear masks for the next ten years? I wear my mask everywhere I go and get my Flu Shot anyway so it wouldn’t be so bad but there’s many other questions that race through my mind as we start increasing tiers all over the U.S. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to just rip off my mask and go to Disneyland but I’m just incredibly unsure of what the future holds and what the new “normal” will look like.

Many people are saying that 2022 is going to be like the recovery period after the Great Depression of 1929 to 1933. People are saying that there will be a large economic growth and people will be out and about doing everything they’ve wanted to do since March of 2020. It’s pretty apparent that most states are doing their best to open back up while implementing COVID-19 protocols, and now I’m starting to get nervous...

Not only because I realized just how dirty everything is, but I’m also nervous to socialize again. I’m a little nervous to meet my classmates, do an in-person interview, present in front of my peers and colleagues, and even ask my teacher questions (not over email). It sounds stupid but going from being at home all day to a classroom full of people I’ve never met in person sounds super daunting. I also think being in any kind of crowd might be overwhelming too. So if you’re anything like me, I’ve come up with things I’m going to do to alleviate post-pandemic anxiety.

 

  1. 1. Accept My Weirdness

    Bobs Burger

    After reading this comic from the New York Times, I’ve realized that I’ve spent so much time with only my roommates and boyfriend (also a roommate) over quarantine that I don’t know what it’s like to interact with anyone else, especially people that don’t know me well. However, I feel that during the pandemic I’ve come to accept my weirdness and flaws. So even when I’m speaking with my classmates over Zoom, I try to be transparent of who I am and what I’m like. I’ve come to find out that many of them are just as weird as me and when we are living in our post-pandemic life, it’s okay to be weird and be yourself.

  2. 2. Set Personal Boundaries

    Nick Miller New Girl GIF Boundaries

    If you’re a social butterfly kind of person that’s just going to see everyone once quarantine is over, good for you (once it’s safe to do so). But if you get overwhelmed even being with friends for a couple of hours, then I recommend setting personal boundaries. I know everyone is going to want to do things (ex. travel, go out to eat all the time, etc.) and you always have a sense of F.O.M.O. (Fear of Missing Out), but it’s super important to remember that you don’t want to overwhelm yourself especially during such an exciting time. It’s okay to turn down plans and relax sometimes, and then once you’re up to do something then do it!

  3. 3. Ease Into Things

    Woman with chin-length hair and a black turtleneck sits on a couch with her laptop and papers.

    Going off the last suggestion, it’s okay to ease into things. For example, my work has adapted quite nicely to working from home, and that will be an option in the future for me. My plan is to ease back into working in the office by working at home a few days a week because that’s what makes me comfortable. I know many schools will be offering a virtual option to classes as well as teaching in person for those that feel comfortable. Again, just do what makes you safe and be communicative with your teachers, bosses, etc.

  4. 4. Be Positive

    sign with positive messageand eyeglass

    During quarantine, many of us are locked in our own minds and question our thinking constantly. This can cause a lot of anxiety and stress. With things opening back up, that can also cause added stress for some people. What I’m going to do to alleviate this is by thinking more positively and trying to see things as “the glass is half full.” I want to question negative thoughts in order to increase my mood as well as taking myself out of situations that cause negative thoughts or anxiety.

  5. 5. Journaling

    writing in book with cup of coffee and croissant

    A new thing that I’m going to do that I’ve heard is effective is journaling. Many people like to journal to express their feelings, experiences, and thoughts without saying it outloud. It has also been proven to improve mood and provide emotional stability and happiness. Lastly, it can show you how much you’ve grown over a period of time along.