In early 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic reached the United States, many expected it to clear up in a couple of weeks. Instead, it grew to become a nation (and worldwide) cause for concern, whose ramifications are still being felt over two years later.
COVID-19 drove people into their homes, obliged to isolate and quarantine, ultimately losing time in their lives to socialize and gather with others. According to the World Health Organization, worldwide rates of anxiety and depression increased by 25% in the first year of the pandemic. Not only were people in a constant state of worry about contracting the virus but many people had to learn to comfort themselves in these trying times.
While COVID-19 hasn’t completely left the picture, the world is slowly returning to how it once was. People are gathering inside and outside of their homes and are working and attending school in person as well.
While the world is slowly adapting to a post-COVID society, many people are still suffering from anxiety induced by the pandemic. We’re here to help you socialize and feel comfortable in the post-COVID world by providing some helpful and effective tips.
Take Your Time with Slowly Adapting
For those who suffer from anxiety disorders, whether it be social anxiety or separation anxiety, it is important to take healing at a pace that is comfortable but is also productive.
Try to see every day as an opportunity to push yourself out of your comfort zone at a slow and safe pace. When feeling discouraged, remind yourself that you will be able to enjoy your life as you did prior to your anxiety and that there is no need to rush.
Create a Daily Routine
Creating a routine to keep you busy can help you stay productive and keep your mind from cycling through negative or worrisome thoughts. Even if your routine during COVID changes, some things can stay the same and you can add more! You can start with simple tasks such as taking care of washing dishes in the morning or preparing your lunch at night before bed. Wherever you can find a routine, don’t hesitate to implement it into your weekdays and your weekends.
Limit Time on Social Media
Social media can have rather negative effects on one’s self-esteem and confidence. It is important to be aware of what is going on in the world, especially with how the virus is affecting people, but you also have to allow your mind some time away from the phone and set aside the worries of the world. To shorten your daily screen time, pick up new activities such as starting a new book or going for a walk every day for at least thirty minutes.
Find a New Hobby
Finding and practicing a new hobby is recommended for everyone, no matter what your anxiety looks like. Picking up a new hobby is a way of coping with anxiety.
Some hobbies that are shown to help those who deal with anxiety include:
- Drawing and painting
- Physical activity and exercise
- Discovering new music
Practicing a hobby is another healthy method of keeping your mind productive and focused on positive thoughts.
Make Your Struggles Known to Your Loved Ones
The best way to receive your family and friends’ support is simply by letting them know how you are feeling and what is going on in your life. By doing so, they can be more mindful of your struggles and provide assistance with helping you adapt to the post-COVID world. Never be afraid of letting your family know about your mental struggles. If you are not completely ready to gather in public or with groups of people, do not push yourself and make your loved ones aware.
Plan Simple and Small Social Occasions
The time will come when you will take your goals to the next step: gathering and seeing your loved ones. You can start small! You can host dinner at your house, have a picnic, or meet your loved ones for coffee or dessert. If you do decide to meet family or friends outside of your home, you can also find some places that are more quiet and more relaxed so as not to trigger anxiety.
Take Time to Ease Your Mind
You know when you are feeling burnt out from anxiety and worrisome thoughts. When dealing with a difficult day, put your mind at ease by pausing on your daily responsibilities.
Even something as simple as taking a couple of minutes to focus on your breathing can act as a reset for your brain, helping you feel a lot less overwhelmed and much more relaxed.
Challenge Negative Thoughts with Mindful Meditation and Stress Management
Managing negative thoughts is often a slow process. When you take small breaks throughout each day, these are perfect opportunities to practice mindful meditation and stress management.
Mindful meditation and stress management are methods of coping with anxiety by helping one feel present and aware of one’s surroundings. Researchers have found that mindful meditation is very effective and leads to plenty of progress in overcoming anxiety.
Seek Professional Help
There is never any shame in reaching out and finding a professional to consult about therapy. At Latinx Talk Therapy, it is our goal to help you feel your best, boost your confidence, and instill peace and happiness. With help from a professional, there is nothing you can’t overcome!
Get the Support You Need to Adapt to a Post-COVID Life with Latinx Talk Therapy
At Latinx Talk Therapy, you can put your worries aside and learn how to integrate back into the world.