Returning to Normalcy:
How to Cope with Post Covid-19 Anxiety

Advice on how to adjust to the “new normal” following the eventual end of the pandemic.

As vaccinations continue to roll out around the country and world, many remain cautiously optimistic about returning to a sense of normalcy this summer and beyond. As restrictions are lifted and guidelines are changed, the return to something resembling normal is making many people anxious. Individuals who are used to spending time alone or those who are still worried about contracting the virus may find it difficult to return to their pre-pandemic social lives or in-person work environment. Some individuals have become accustomed to their pandemic routines and are anxious about returning to “business as usual.” We’ve put together a few tips on how to manage your mental health during this transitional time.

Allow yourself to be anxious

Feeling insecure, anxious, nervous, or fearful is a very natural reaction following the events of the past year during the pandemic. Rather than trying to avoid these feelings, you should embrace them. As we transition from isolation and restrictions back to social gatherings and grocery shopping without masks, we need to recognize that it may feel unsettling trying to pick up where we left off. The “new normal” is a tactful way of saying we need to redefine our expectations, what’s important, and how we’re going to carry on post-pandemic.

Take it one step at a time

There is no need for your transition to pre-pandemic life to take place all at once, even if you are fully vaccinated. With the trauma of the loss of life, sickness, social, economic, and mental toll this pandemic has taken on all of us, there is a period of healing taking place before we all dive back into normal. What may work for one person may not work for another. We all have our own ideas and understanding of what feels safe. Trust those feelings. If you only feel comfortable attending small gatherings with other fully vaccinated people, create that boundary for yourself. If you still want to wear a mask when you are around other people, even when you are outdoors, wear the mask. Ultimately, taking your time is the best way to manage and mitigate any stress and anxiety surrounding your return to pre-pandemic life. Be mindful and make plans that fit within your comfort zones. 

Establish healthy and adjustable boundaries

Keeping in line with taking it slow, you can also set boundaries just be sure to remain flexible. Start by creating a comfort window that you can live, work, and socialize within, adjusting your comfort zone as you start returning to your pre-pandemic life. Think of this reintegration period as a slow progression back into your life.

Keep the lines of communication open

We are all trying to reintegrate back together. As you start to meet and socialize with friends and family it’s important to have open and honest conversations where you discuss candidly what would be comfortable for everyone involved. Ask them what they are comfortable with and be sure to tell them what makes the most sense for you. This way, if you find yourself in a situation you are uncomfortable with, you have the power to leave whenever you want to.

Practice self care

As you start to transition back to your “normal” life, you may still be dealing with other things, such as hybrid work, homeschooling, and the other normal ebbs and flows of life. It’s important to make time for yourself.  Self-care looks different for everyone. For some it’s going for a daily run and for others it’s a long bath after a long day. Whatever it is, carve out time each day to decompress and unwind from the stressors in your life.

Talk with a mental health professional

It’s okay to feel overwhelmed as you adjust to “new normals.”  A mental health professional can provide a safe space to discuss your anxiety and fears, helping you find the tools and solutions needed to manage your stress in a positive manner. Whether you or a loved one needs help managing anxiety, our team of mental professionals can help. At Cypress, our family of psychotherapists leverages their experience, training, and compassion to provide a wide range of treatment solutions to help treat the symptoms causing distress.  Contact a member of our team to learn more about our on-site clinical and teletherapy options for your mental health.