While the easing of restrictions and re-opening of society is a welcome move forward in the fight against the pandemic, for some of us it may bring a sense of unease.
Being cooped up at home can be frustrating, but it can also bring relief from having to interact socially. We may have enjoyed longer lie-ins or less pressure in school or the work place. The idea of being around crowds again can invoke feelings of anxiety. Even if being in lock down was tough, we may feel a little rusty in our skills of mixing with people and making conversation.
Be gentle on yourself and build up slowly
If you are feeling like this, you are not on your own. Learning to feel comfortable in social situations can take time and practice. When we don’t have the opportunity to do something for a while we can lose confidence in our capacity to do it.
As you get back to being around people again, be gentle on yourself and build up slowly. Perhaps try meeting with one or two people initially for a short specified time period. If you are heading back to work, see if you can arrange to meet with a manager or co-worker first. Or go in when it’s quieter before building back up to meeting the full team.
With time, patience and practice, we can become more comfortable and confident in situations involving others. However, if the thought of it feels too overwhelming, or you don’t know where to start, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for support.