With many states and cities opening up in a phased approach, a new wave of concern has emerged. While it can feel exciting to venture back into the world with phased re-openings, it can be anxiety-provoking. Confusion permeates as we explore some big questions: When will it be safe to be in public? What will make it safe? What will this new normal look like? It is stressful to carry this fear of re-entry.
It is important during this time to acknowledge that although we are in the same storm, we are certainly in different boats. Each of us will experience the next steps differently: while it is one thing to go outside for a walk — it is quite another to get on a subway, an elevator, see a doctor or co-worker at work with a mask on. Your experience with these engagements and activities may be completely unique from your neighbor’s perspective. Everyone is experiencing a different fear of re-entry at this time.
If you are feeling anxiety about the new normal, we encourage you to be patient with yourself; do not rush to get back to a routine or structure that you do not yet trust. We trusted our old routines and, with the emergence of the pandemic, we then stayed at home — another place we trusted. At present, we might not trust the outside as much as we thought we did. With that in mind — the advice is simple: go slow and listen to your gut.
If you are not ready to go back to the office, consider talking with your boss about one day at a time. Maybe just going for a walk right now is a lot; if so, try jumping jacks at home and one or two minutes outside each day for some sun (then build as your comfort grows). Whatever is happening, it is important to look underneath and talk about what may be holding you back.
Outside of uncovering what feels right for you, it might be uncomfortable as you recognize that not everyone will follow the same rules as you. In this case, focus on what rules and norms you feel the most comfortable with and follow them, understanding that each of us has to do what is best for our own well-being and mental health.
It is also important to set expectations with ourselves. This next season may be harder than the last few weeks — because we have in our consciousness that there may be more opportunity or freedom, we might feel disappointed, conflicted, or confused. Even the act of deciding what is best for ourselves may be confusing. How can you get to the core of what makes sense for you as we move forward?
- Talking it out with mentors and friends
Not ready to commit to 1:1 sessions? Schedule a free consultation or start with our eBook to Prioritize Your Well Being Today. Regardless of your next step, remember to go slow and listen to your gut; find what works best for you and respect your evolving boundaries.