With lockdown slowly but surely easing, allowing more opportunities to meet up with those we haven’t seen in quite some time is an exciting prospect, it can however be a pretty scary one too.
During lockdown we had time to think and be creative, without too much socialising, and for introverts like myself, lockdown was pretty much the ideal environment. On and off over the last year, we’ve become so accustomed to being on our own and doing our own thing, that our anxiety around socialising has remained unchallenged.
Anxiety about returning back to normal (or a semblance of normal) isn’t just exclusive to the pre-lockdown introverts. We are all so used to our comfort zones at home. During lockdown, many of us didn’t do the things we normally did, meaning that it was very easy to lose the confidence in the things that were once second nature to us.
If you find yourself feeling a little anxious about this, it’s key to note that the anxiety you’re feeling about going back to normal is actually normal. Think about it, we’ve been nestled quietly in our homes without the distractions of the world outside, and during that time we developed a new normal- one without having to go out and socialise in busy places where lots of people might be.
Now that the government has laid out dates for when we can ‘do things’, it’s important to know that this doesn’t mean you have to do them at that particular time. These dates are not milestones that you have to hit. It’s fine to take your time and do what feels right for you. It’s understandable if you feel a little intrusion during this time and want to do things at your own pace. You absolutely should and there is no shame in doing so.
And when the time does come, ease back into social situations gradually by starting small and do what you feel comfortable doing. Baby steps will help you to build your confidence, so remember to be kind to yourself and don’t pile on the pressure- it’s okay to feel how you’re feeling, we are likely all feeling similar. And remember, you got through change before so you can do so again.