For some of us, staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic has only been a minor inconvenience. Others of us have lost freedom, income, and the support and connection with those who are outside of our immediate families.
Change can be hard, especially when it’s drastic and sudden. Children especially may find it difficult to express what they’re feeling when stressed, and parents may think they need to “hold it together” and pretend everything is normal for the sake of their children or their elderly parents. Now that the initial lockdown is easing in many states, a new emotional hurdle may catch us all by surprise – how do we re-integrate into a society that looks so much different than the one we knew in early 2020?
The EXOS 4-Pillar Methodology—mindset, nutrition, movement, and recovery—can help support our mental health during this transitionary period as we make our way back to normal life.
Mindset: Acknowledge anxiety in yourself and others
Social distancing, masks, gloves, and other measures may be necessary for a while as we begin to step out into the world again. We may feel awkward in social situations that are as simple as passing someone on the street, stepping into an elevator, or checking into the fitness center. Our children may express fear in many different ways about going out in public.
Pretending that everything is normal won’t make anxiety disappear. Practice controlled breathing and gratitude to shift the brain’s focus toward positivity, and give yourself and others a little time to adjust.
If these techniques don’t quell anxiety about social interaction, help is just a phone call away. Sometimes we need to come to our own rescue, and seeking help is often a major first step in self-care.