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Reopening Anxiety Tips

Reopening Anxiety Tips

Three months ago, we couldn’t wait for stores, restaurants and life to reopen.

But now that it’s here, not everybody is rushing out to shop and eat. As with most things in life, people’s responses will run the spectrum. There will be those who will go back to normal outings right away, then there are those who are still afraid to go any where, and of course then there are those who are in the middle of the two.

No matter where you fall on this spectrum, it’s ok.

The key is to honor and respect what will work for you and your family. And ideally, to not judge others who choose differently than you. We have no manual for how to get through this pandemic, most people are just doing the best they can with difficult circumstances.

If you are on the more anxious side of the reopening, you are not alone. Just because things are opening up, do not feel pressure to go, if you are not ready. You will be in time.

Here are a few tips for managing your anxiety during reopening:

  • Take baby steps as you are ready. If you have barely left the house throughout quarantine, start small and build up your comfort level.
  • Prioritize where you want to go first. Think about what have you missed most during this time and evaluate how safe you’d feel going back.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask questions of any establishment you want to go to so you can feel comfortable about their efforts to keep everybody safe and healthy.
  • Do not compare yourself to what others are doing. It doesn’t matter if your friends are comfortable getting together, if you aren’t yet, that’s ok. Give it time.
  • Don’t judge yourself for how you feel and how you’re handling reopening. Judging your feelings won’t change them, so try to ignore any internal criticism. Instead be compassionate towards yourself, you’re doing the best you can with these crazy circumstances.
  • If your anxiety is high before or after venturing out, make sure to practice extra self-care and relaxation techniques.
  • Talk to a friend or relative about your fears and concerns, chances are you are not alone.

If you feel you could use more support as we navigate life reopening, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Together we can create a plan of how to best help you manage your stress and anxiety. Be well.

Kathy Most
Therapist in Westfield, NJ
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