This far into the pandemic, it is no surprise that we’re all still anxious and scared about returning to normal. The pandemic is still out there, and it is important to remain cautious.
But while the danger is still out there, it may be time for us to learn how to live again. But we’ve lived in a bubble for so long that leaving feels like starting from scratch. It’s completely understandable to have mixed feelings and uncertainty on how to go about your day-to-day life.
Whether you’re feeling about going out, know that all of it is normal and valid. We’re all bound to feel some form of reentry anxiety.
What is reentry anxiety?
Reentry anxiety refers to the stress we feel about going back to a normal life. This may be caused by the uncertainty inherent to the pandemic.
The Anxiety & Depression Association of America says that reentry anxiety is a normal response to the threat of COVID-19. Nerves from reentry anxiety can “help you stay safe, engage in appropriate preventive behaviors, and exercise caution.”
While you can’t avoid reentry anxiety, you can deal with it. Here are five tips to help you stay sane amid another new normal:
1. Feel your feelings.
It really is okay not to be okay. It’s also fine to feel a variety of feelings at the same time – you may be excited to finally go out and see your friends while at the same time feel sad because you’re grieving the loss of a loved one to COVID-19.
It might be confusing to have so many emotions, but it’s important to let yourself feel everything. Be kind to yourself and be compassionate about what you’re going through.
2. Stay informed.
Check for updates from the Department of Health and your local city government to see the current case numbers and what activities are prohibited or approved in your area.
Just remember to step back once you have all the info you need. Doomscrolling can be very tempting, but also bad for your health.
3. Write a bucket list and ease into it slowly
By writing down your new normal bucket list, you can reframe your feelings from anxiety to hope. Listing down the activities that you’re looking forward to, whether it’s something as simple as going to the salon or that long-postponed out-of-town trip can make you feel more optimistic for the days ahead.
Make sure to go through your list gradually. If you immediately do everything at once, you’ll end up burning yourself out. Start with the small activities, like taking a walk outside, and make your way from there.
4. Take note of what’s in your control
Because anxiety is often caused by feeling a high level of uncertainty about things out of your control, it helps to make note of the things that are in your control to help you manage.
For example, it helps to keep a checklist of things to bring to keep yourself protected. Necessities like your vaccine card, face mask, and travel bottle of alcohol should always be on hand. This would help remind you to be cautious while you’re outside, and that you should follow all the guidelines to protect yourself best.
5. Seek support
While anxiety is normal, there may be times when it can be too much for you to handle. If you feel that your worries are beginning to affect your career, relationships, and your health, it’s probably time to seek professional help.
The National Center for Mental Health offers e-Konsultasyon and e-Kamustahan services, which are free online sessions for anyone who needs them. You can also check with friends or family if they have any mental health professionals that they can recommend.
Getting back out there can be scary, but it is also necessary. Going out with friends and family – while meeting safety guidelines – is important to your overall health and total wellbeing.
It also does not hurt to have an insurance plan for your financial wellbeing. To make sure you are financially covered, invest in a health protection plan. You can choose from FWD plans like Set For Health, KanMend, or Health Bundle. Contact us to know which plan will suit you best.
To know more about how you can achieve total wellbeing, click here.