By Aida Kaewwilai, LPC, ALMFT
Do you find yourself feeling more stressed about reopenings than excited?
Fear not, as there are steps to take in managing some of this stress. With the majority of people in the U.S. now receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, many businesses that have been closed are now finally reopening to close to, if not full, capacity.
Restaurants have reopened for indoor dining, gyms are returned to their usual operating hours. public transportation systems have resumed their usual routes, movie theaters have resumed their usual openings, and bars and clubs have reopened for full capacity. With everything reopening and being close to what it once was pre-pandemic, that also means masks are becoming optional in most public places
While some people may be excited for this reopening, others may be experiencing some anxiety about the change and adjusting back to what was once “normal.”
And the unpredictability of it was what led many to feeling worried and on edge. It is important to focus on what you can control, such as wearing a mask, keeping social distance, and washing your hands.
4 Steps to Managing the Stress and Anxiety
1. Self- Reflect
Ask yourself how you feel about the reopening and your comfort level in being out again. America's COVID-19 statistics are improving, but we are still in a pandemic, so health risks still exist, especially for those who have opted out of vaccination.
2. Set Your Boundaries
With activities becoming more readily available, many people are excited to go back out into the world and socialize again. Many of these activities are with family and friends, making decisions difficult. However, be confident in setting your boundaries with what activities you are comfortable or not comfortable with participating in.
3. Accept the Uncontrollable
One of the hardest things to do when dealing with anxiety is letting go of what is uncontrollable. The global pandemic was not in anyone’s control. The unpredictability of it has led many people to feel worried and on edge. But remember to focus on what you can control, such as wearing a mask, keeping social distance, and washing your hands.
4. Lean on Supports
Hang onto your support systems, such as family and friends, during this time of change. They have been there for you since Day 1. Supports may look different to everyone so there is no one size fits all. In addition to family and friends, your supports may include teachers, mentors, neighbors and therapist.
Prevent Further Distress
The COVID-19 pandemic led many people to feel stressed and anxious, mainly because it was an uncontrollable dramatic change that affected the world. After nearly one year of closure, opening back up is another change that may require adjustments.
Manage this stress and anxiety during stressful times to prevent further distress. The steps above are associated with self-care and crucial in maintaining good mental health, as it will also impact your physical health. I highly encourage you to pay attention to both for your well-being.
It is also always a good idea to seek professional help when you need extra support. I encourage clients to remember to take care of themselves mentally as well as physically.
Get the support you need today.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to Ammirati Counseling to ask and inquire about support services that you can receive to help with overcoming feelings of depression, loneliness, stress or anxiety.