With lockdowns easing and the world encouraging us to slowly go back to normal and leave our houses, many of us are feeling anxious, and this can be quite scary. Because what was once a natural normal thing to do is not becoming triggering and terrifying for many.
But what can be even more terrifying is when people are not able to know what they are experiencing or how to handle it.
While some people experience ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO), others are now going through the complete opposite. ‘Fear of going out’ (FOGO) is now becoming more apparent as people are told to leave their houses and live a life as close to normal as possible.
A UK survey even reports that around 30% of people were anxious about going to busy places, and 23% were concerned about using public transports. Leaving the house can be triggering for people who feel like going out poses a threat to their safety, and they are better off staying in the safety of their homes.
While being cautious and careful is important, there is a fine line between normal justifiable fear and fear that stems from a deep sense of anxiety. Once normal day-to-day activities become difficult to maintain and your quality of life is impacted, you know that this is much more than just fear, because it is now anxiety.
Anxiety can be debilitating and it can severely impact our quality of lives. Therefore, it is imperative that we become aware of the signs, what triggers us and how we can cope with it.
In order to offer a little guidance to those trying to cope with their post-pandemic anxiety, here are some ways that can help you slowly come to terms with this new sense of normalcy:
1. Take it slow
Remember, you do not have to rush back into going out and socializing if you do not feel up to it. Listen to what your mind and body are telling you and take it one step at a time.
2. Set healthy boundaries
Not only is it important to set clear and healthy boundaries with those around you, but it is also imperative that you are vocal about it. Communicate your needs and wants to family and friends in order to avoid any peer pressure.
3. Practice deep breathing
Nothing calms the mind the way breathing does. Taking deep breaths from your nose and exhaling them from your mouth can help you shift your focus from any intrusive thoughts you might be having.
4. Ask for help
There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for the support of family and friends. Turning to a mental health professional can also be a great way to help you cope and push through. Talking to someone about what you are thinking allows you to declutter your brain. Not only is it okay to ask for help, but it is also necessary if you feel like you need it. In some cases this deep sense of anxiety turns into what is known as agoraphobia. And therefore, if you feel like the anxiety you are experiencing is becoming severe, it is best to seek professional help.
And remember, you are not alone. The entire world is going through a difficult time, and speaking about things might help you and those around you.
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