Many people assumed that once our society began to open up again that everything and everyone would quickly return to normal. After staying huddled at home for months, longing for the days when they were once able to freely move about society, some people have found their anxiety about the virus didn't necessarily go away, and in fact may have actually increased after re-discovering their freedom.
In 2020 up until recently, tens of millions of people in the United States embraced high levels of safety. Nothing much was known about the novel virus so focusing on safety seemed to be the wisest choice. People drastically modified their behavior to the point where even insurance companies noted a significant decrease in traffic accidents and medical professionals noted a decrease in sports injuries, vaccines for children, and more.
For most people, staying home and only venturing out when absolutely necessary felt safer or it was simply required by state and/or local officials. Whether people realized it or not, even as they were longing to regain their past normal lifestyle, they became very comfortable taking extreme measures to avoid the risk of illness.
With many states opening up their societies, now people have to learn all over again how to embrace a certain amount of risk in their lives. While some people, mainly the elderly and those who have a compromised immune system must remain extra diligent, the rest of the population has to learn to live again in regular society.
For those who have residual anxiety about re-entering society, realize it's a perfectly legitimate way to feel. For those still struggling, recognize that our public health officials now know a lot more about the virus than they did last winter. The popular phrase, "knowledge equals power" can help the anxious feel more calm since they know for example, that the virus is not easily spread through public surfaces.
It's ok to be somewhat anxious about re-entering society. To calm fears take it slow if possible, and maintain a good level of hygiene both in and out of the home. By following the time-honored Boy Scout motto of "always be prepared", one can more easily transition from one lifestyle to another.
To learn more about anxiety and related topics, visit the Mental Health section of our blog.
- Alleviating the Mental Health Stress of Black Professionals
- Maintaining Your Mental Health During Social Isolation
- Warmlines vs. Hotlines - Receiving Help Before a Crisis
- On National Stress Awareness Day, Make Your Health a Priority
- Monitoring Your Child's Mental Health
- Helping Hands of Trauma-Informed Care
- Mental Health and the Anxiety Economy
- Outsmart Anxiety in 5 Steps for Better Sleep
- A Bad Work Day is not the End of the World
- Give Positive Career Direction to Others