As society transitions out of lockdown, we aren’t returning to normal, but entering a new normal. Managing anxiety and getting easily overwhelmed by once loved activities may feel discouraging, but you aren’t alone. Here are our tips on how to successfully adjust to a post-pandemic world.
1. Continue to Wash and Sanitize
One of the (albeit few) positives of the pandemic was a giant and much needed refresher course on proper hand washing technique. Continue to wash your hands after running errands or interacting with people outside your household. When you can’t wash your hands, use sanitizer.
2. Keep Wearing Your Mask If It Makes You Comfortable
While mask restrictions are becoming more relaxed in most states, do what makes you comfortable! Going from mandatory mask wearing to no mask required may make some people nervous, if so, keep wearing your mask. Many businesses still ask customers to keep their faces covered, so no matter your comfort level it’s a good idea to keep a clean mask with you at all times.
3. Stay Away From Crowds
If a year at home makes you weary of the masses, then go slowly with crowded spaces. This could look like avoiding the market during busy times, or celebrating Pride privately with close friends. To build up your tolerance, try walking somewhere with moderate foot traffic or finding a secluded corner at the beach.
If the reintegration into “normal” life feels overwhelming, meditation is an excellent method for grounding yourself. There are plenty of free meditation apps and instructional videos for beginners. A good way to start is to pick a time everyday to sit alone for 5 minutes and focus on your breathing.
5. Stay Home If You’re Feeling Sick
Though staying home when ill was always a rule, many businesses expected (and even encouraged) their employees to show up no matter what. Covid has made it clear that personal and community health is one of the most important aspects of our society. If you don’t feel good stay home, and don’t let your workplace make you feel guilty for taking the time you need to heal.
6. Set and Respect Boundaries
Social interactions, especially with friends and family you’ve been apart from, can be awkward. Figure out what you’re comfortable with. If physical interaction (i.e. handshaking, hugging) isn’t something you want to do, set these boundaries early and clearly. Conversely, if a friend or family member sets a boundary with you, be respectful and supportive.
7. Be Patient
Transitioning into the world after the pandemic is daunting for all of us. Some things that were normal pre-pandemic may seem exhausting now. Take time to check in with yourself, and hold your boundaries, even if other people don’t understand them. Go at your own pace, and be kind to yourself!
Life will never be the same in the wake of coronavirus but, as always, we will adapt. And for any upcoming parties and gatherings make sure to stock your bathroom with No.2 toilet paper, 100% bamboo, plastic free, and made without dyes, scents, or BPA.