We’ve been through hell this past year. Even now with some light at the end of the tunnel, we are facing the challenge of finding out what the “new normal” might look like.
Vaccinations are proceeding at a good pace with over 50% of the US population having received at least one shot. But many are reporting not feeling as liberated and stress free as they anticipated. There are continued reports of anxiety and worry about reentering this “new normal” world.
Tell It Like it Is
Let’s keep in mind that we are all dealing with covid-19 trauma, both personal and global. Because of this, you may be facing mental health issues you never anticipated. Covid-19 is categorized as a mass trauma. The most common emotional reactions to such an experience are depression, anxiety, grief, panic, agoraphobia, substance abuse, eating disorders, and PTSD.
From frontline workers feeling helpless, to family members watching loved ones suffer and die, we have all been challenged by multiple stressors that squeeze thin our ability to cope. These stressors are compounded by preexisting personal or familial mental health issues that have created unanticipated, precarious personal emotional circumstances.
You may be experiencing one or more of these reactions. Anticipating reentering and reestablishing social relationships doesn’t automatically place you back in your pre-covid state of mind. If you are experiencing fear and trepidation, uneasiness, fear of leaving your home, panic, etc. you will have to take the time to care for yourself and manage your reentry.
This post is my shot at addressing some of these issues and hopefully helping you to explore your situation while mustering the resolve to take appropriate self-care, for yourself and loved ones. And maybe to even get involved in supporting greater mental health resources for your community.
Warning: Caring for yourself does not mean you need to look outside yourself and purchase lots of products touted in the marketplace, such as expensive skin care products, sex toys, and yoga mats. Self-care comes from tapping your internal resources, knowing yourself, and connecting to others.
Why am I feeling so anxious?
Reentry Anxiety – This largely unexpected issue for many of us is being called reentry anxiety. The American Psychological Association has estimated that 50% of Americans feel anxious about resuming in-person activities. What is the new normal? It’s a perplexing and potentially anxiety provoking state for many of us.
The basis of this anxiety stems from either a fear that you will contract or spread the disease or that your social skills are so atrophied you will be overwhelmed and awkward in your interactions. These feelings can be exacerbated in specific populations such as racial minorities, those traumatized by losing loved ones, suffered financial insecurity, or those suffering preexisting emotional conditions.
To read the rest of my article and learn to overcome reentry anxiety, jump here. You won't regret it.