As happy and relieved as we are to be reconnecting with family, friends, and colleagues, as well as taking our little ones back out into the world, getting over more than two and half years of strict pandemic regulation is still proving to be a bit of challenge for many people.
Schools across the country are increasingly easing mask restrictions, mask guidance will soon be dropped from public indoor settings and, even though there is a slight uptick in Covid cases during our winter months, it seems that the country is slowly but surely returning to normalcy. And while that’s incredibly exciting for some people, for others, the return to “normal” can bring about some anxiety.
We’ve spent the last two years of our lives in a pandemic, and we don’t fully understand how it has impacted us yet. We’ve had this cumulative stress for so long and are still processing how this has, and still is, affecting people differently. While some people can’t wait to rip their masks off, others are having trouble going back into life as it was before the pandemic.
Everybody you know and interact with on a daily basis has an opinion, a story, and an experience that they can wait to share given the opportunity. We all experienced things that we never anticipated and that have irrevocably changed us in ways that we can’t even begin to imagine.
Many of us may have gotten used to the isolation and, in some cases, might have even embraced the safety of our homes, our immediate family and our reduced social circumstances. We all found our own safety-net and have gotten used to whatever worked for us in our world, and to some of us reintegration into society, work-place demands, as well as schools and places of learning and education are proving more challenging than previously thought.
And while many of us can’t wait to re-enter the world in real-time, others are more tentative and cautious, so in this blog we’d like to explore a few thigs that might ease your fears and help you identify the benefits of what we’ve learned, about the world and ourselves, the past two plus years.
We also know so much more about Covid-19 now than we did in the beginning. When the pandemic began, doctors knew little about how the virus spread, how to treat it, how it behaved and its symptoms. Now, more than 30 months into the pandemic, we have much more research and data that helps us know what to expect, how to protect ourselves and what treatment methods can be used.
That said, everyone has to go at their own pace and for some of us it may take a tad longer before you feel comfortable letting your guard down.
If you’ve been hesitant to go out in public, you don’t have to start off by going to a crowded venue and don’t feel unnecessarily pressured to follow the crowd. Make decisions based on what will make you feel safe.
Focus On The Present Moment
If Covid-19 worries are eating at you, shift your thoughts to what you can control and think about the moment you’re in. Tell yourself, right now the risk is low, and cases are down.
I’m deciding based on the information I have in this moment, and I trust that the people, companies, and organisations I am interacting are following the pandemic guidelines currently in place.
Think about what you can control and try not to go down the path of “what ifs”, because there is always a “what if”. Incorporating mindful tactics like meditating, doing breathing exercises, engaging in a relaxing activity (like doing a puzzle with your kids or teaching your little ones a new skill) into your daily life can help you refocus your mind into the present.
Everyone has a different comfort level, and some people are more cautious than others. Join a short babies or toddler class with your pre-schooler, not only will your kids learn, socialise, and make new friends, but so will you!
Accept that everyone will respond differently if you decide to throw a party for your kids or decide to get together with more people; the best thing we can do is be patient and understanding with each other, but we should start getting back out there to take back our social lives, reconnect with each other and enjoy spending some unencumbered time with our friends and loved ones.