Coming out of this time of separation for “normal” life can be surprisingly easy or surprisingly difficult depending on how the pandemic, as a whole, has gone for you. It might look something like:
“Hi! My name is Katie and I’m an introvert and I’d be ok to never leave my house again.”
“Hi! My name is Katie and I’m an extrovert and if I don’t get the F!@# out of my house I’m going to lose it!”
Both of these can present their own set of concerns and issues related to the reopening. There are decisions to be made about how much to engage in and at what pace, not to mention people’s feelings and pressures about vaccination and masking. All of which is very polarized and can be difficult to manage. My recommendations for managing the stress of the world reopening are:
Give Yourself Permission to Move at Your Own Pace!
At this point, I think we can all agree on one thing that we don’t love being told what we can and cannot do. I suggest reconnecting with what you feel comfortable with. If you feel comfortable running head long into every experience you have missed in the past year or if you feel comfortable trying one new thing at a time every couple of weeks, do what feels best for you. Give yourself permission to go as fast or as slow as you want. Also, give yourself permission to pull back and change course if you need to.
Move Forward Without Regret!
In the middle of the pandemic I asked the opinion of my physician of whether or not to do something. His response was ‘I can’t tell you not to live but don’t do something that you will regret later.’ What this means is that if you choose to do something there is not looking back and saying I shouldn’t have done that because you got sick or it ended poorly. This is for any and all decision you make regarding coming out of this including rejoining society, getting vaccinated, or engaging with others. Go into these decisions understanding that the decision is one you have made confidently and can accept all consequences, both positive and negative.
Be Kind and Respectful!
EVERY SINGLE PART OF THIS IS ONE BIG HARD DECISION AT A TIME! While this re-opening may seem easier to some than others, easy is not a word I would use to describe it by any stretch. Be kind to others who are moving at a different pace than you are. Be respectful of the decisions of others because you don’t know what is going on in their world that has driven their decisions. Think ‘Yes, I have my own beliefs about certain things related to this pandemic but so does everyone else.’ You don’t have to agree but it will help you and them if respect and kindness can be shared on both sides.
Self-care, Self-care, Self-care!
If you are not engaging in self-care it is officially time to start. Whether your self-care is getting back out into the world or taking time to decompress after venturing into an uncomfortable experience. Self-care should be a HUGE part of this transition back into the world.
I hope these tips are helpful and that you find your way safely and healthfully back into this wild world of ours.