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The Quintessential Health Blog

How Reopening the Country May be Increasing Your Anxiety

If you find yourself feeling worried or anxious about life after the pandemic, you are not alone. As things start returning to normalcy in our daily lives after a year of being inside our homes, many of us are faced with the reality of having to go back to routines we had prior to the pandemic. Although vaccines are available and more places are starting to reopen, there still are still a lot of unknowns. Many people find themselves asking how safe it is to resume daily life without a vaccine? It may also be anxiety provoking that different states are on different timelines regarding reopening. Even when everything fully reopens, there are still complicated feelings and thoughts about interacting with other people. With that being said, how can we adapt to this new way of life?

How to Manage Anxiety About Reopening?

COVID-19 has impacted the mental health of many individuals. Many of us seem to have conflicting feelings of longing for normalcy again while also being nervous to risk exposure to the virus. Experts are referring to these conflicting feelings as “re-entry anxiety”. To help with these feelings of anxiety, psychologists recommend each individual does what is comfortable for them and for everyone to go at their own pace when it comes to going back to daily routines prior to the pandemic. No one should be rushed through this process or feel guilty for having these feelings of anxiety or worry. When you find yourself feeling anxious, it is important to focus on things in your daily life you do have control over. For example, your own behaviors regarding the virus. It is also beneficial to consider the facts and evidence with your thoughts because they tend to decrease one’s anxiety. Experts recommend that we continue to take part in activities that boost our immune system such as exercise, getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep a day, and interacting with people we know well in a safe manner. It is better to start with a small circle of close friends and meet in outdoor places to ease back into things safely. They also recommend we be aware of who we surround ourselves with during this difficult time since sometimes others can increase or decrease our anxiety related to this issue.

For some people, seeing others in masks contributes to an increase in anxiety. This may be because seeing others in masks is a constant reminder that we are still living through a pandemic and uncertainty surrounds us. Not seeing faces also seems to eliminate the familiarity and connection we used to have with others. To minimize the effects of these anxiety provoking factors, experts recommend the following strategies:

-Practice mindfulness, deep breathing, or meditation

-Sticking to daily routines

-Regular Exercise

-Talking to friends, family, or a therapist if feeling overwhelmed

-Journal or engage in art activities

It is normal to feel scared or worried about coming out of quarantine. This experience is new to everyone and there is no “right” way to do it. However, if you or a loved one are struggling with

anxiety related to the pandemic, you may schedule a free 15-minute consultation at for more information on how to seek professional help.

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