Adjusting to a COVID world

Adjusting to a COVID world

Are You Secretly Anxious About Returning to “Normalcy” with Continued COVID Concerns?

Over the summer, many people started to return to some sense of “normalcy” in a post-coronavirus disease (COVID-19) world. Even so, people found themselves struggling to feel safe and ready to face the return to workplaces, social events, and other situations where interacting with the public was unavoidable. Then, all the variants started. Still, most schools and businesses aren’t willing to return to pandemic-level quarantine mode. This has left a lot of people struggling with higher levels of anxiety surrounding a return to any sense of normalcy. I If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. In this blog, let’s take a closer look at some of the ways you can make the return to some semblance of normalcy feel a little safer.  

Adjustment Takes Time & That’s Okay

First and foremost, any adjustment, transition, or change will take time to get used to. Even positive life changes can be difficult, so give yourself a little grace if you don’t immediately feel great about this time of change. We have all, I hope, learned to give ourselves a little forgiveness when we struggle to manage all the difficulties thrown at us over the past year. It’s okay if you don’t immediately feel comfortable going back to work, school, or even meeting up with friends socially. We all want to reclaim the feeling of safety and stability we had before the world turned upside down, but that’s not going to happen instantly, especially since new variants and other challenges related to the pandemic continue to arise. Give yourself a break, and remember, it’s okay to not be ready to go back to “normal” even if it seems like everyone else is doing great.

Allow Yourself to Feel However You Feel

This brings us to the idea that it’s okay, valid, and acceptable to feel however you feel about the changes related to the pandemic and how they have impacted your life. Are you frustrated, worried, angry, anxious, sad, stressed, exhausted? These are all valid and valuable emotions. Don’t ignore them and don’t push them back. Instead, embrace these emotions and what they are telling you about your experience. That doesn’t mean you need to fixate on any specific emotion or feel one way about the situation all the time. Instead, we recommend learning to live your life by the 90 second rule. Researchers who studied how we experience emotions discovered that we can accept and process feelings in just one minute and thirty seconds. That’s it. So, how does that work? Instead of ignoring tough emotions when they arise, take 90 seconds to really experience the emotion. How is it affecting you? Why do you feel this way? What was the cause? Just really think about this feeling and how it is impacting you mentally and physically. When the 90 seconds is up, make a change. Get up and go for a quick walk. Start a load of laundry. Go back to doing your work. It’s surprising how quickly we feel better about our emotions if we take time to really feel them when they arise.

Set Boundaries & Express Concerns

Many people are struggling with the return to a semblance of normalcy because it feels like other people aren’t worried at all. It’s like they reached that September 1, 2021 deadline when things were supposed to be back to normal, so now, they’re insisting everything is fine. This can make you feel uncomfortable raising concerns in situations where it seems as though you’re the only one who’s worried. It can be very confronting, but it’s okay if you need to set boundaries, express concerns, and create safety for yourself, even if that means just choosing not to participate in certain events where people are behaving in ways that make you feel uncomfortable. If you do want to start getting back to engaging in some semblance of normal life again, create safety for yourself by taking precautions that are within your control. Wear a mask, keep your distance from others, wash your hands frequently, and follow any other guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Feeling Stressed, Worried, or Anxious? Let’s Talk About It!

Whether you’re experiencing stress related to going back to work in an office setting, you’re worried about your children heading back into classrooms, you’re anxious about continuing to work in uncertain and possibly unsafe situations, or you’re having any other difficulties in this time of transition, please consider working with one of the skilled therapists at Lansing Counseling. It’s easy to get started. You can call or email us, or complete our simple contact form below:

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