As uncomfortable and frightened as we once were in the beginning stages of the COVID-19 global pandemic, there has been a level of comfort and familiarity in keeping our circles small, social interactions limited, and having an excuse to decline that invitation. As one starts to think about the world opening up again, we might be feeling similar anxieties and fears of the unknown about what this new normal is going to look like. Just as with the onset of the pandemic, there is no "right" way to manage something that we have never experienced before.
There is no playbook for exactly how to feel or act, but keep reading to explore how you might handle a return to normal.
You are allowed to change your mind as your comfort level changes. As you get more information, feel more comfortable in specific situations, or feel more comfortable with specific people - you are allowed to change your mind about the rate and intensity of which you re-integrate.
It's important to remember that there is no "right" way to feel about rejoining society. Maybe you want to take things slow, re-integrating into the new normal and society post pandemic a little bit at a time. Maybe you're feeling ready to get back in the office or back to meeting friends for brunch, perhaps you’re even a little excited. Re-entry anxiety is real as we are exposing ourselves to a range of new stressors and situations that we aren't comfortable or familiar with handling.
Having mixed feelings about continuing to work from home makes sense - we have gotten so used to it. It's okay to take some time to decide if going back to the office is something that you're comfortable with. Ask if working remotely is still an option, or if a hybrid model is available, if you're not comfortable with the formality, stress and forced socialization that an in-person work environment may bring.
It is normal to feel confused or fearful about what the future might hold, especially when we are embarking on our "return to normal" journey for the first time. Apprehension regarding how you might cope with any anxieties, fears, or concerns is to be expected. We are all going through this for the first time, at the same time AND we can have different comfort levels. The most important part is to stay attuned to what you need and what's comfortable for you, regardless of what everyone else is doing.
If you are struggling with getting back to normal in a post-pandemic world, our wellness experts can help. Contact us today - you don’t have to walk this journey alone.