Adjusting after Social Distancing
Updated: Mar 30
Countries that completely locked down their cities are beginning to open and allowing people to resume to some normalcy after the spread of COVID-19. Different rules apply to the various nations depending on the level of restrictions still in place; however, the tips to adjusting to the new life may apply to all. Here are some of the pointers on how people can ease the adjustment process amidst fears.
Situation after COVID-19
Restaurants that had closed their dining areas are resuming work after months of delivery only, and shops are opening up allowing customers to browse through their collections. One significant change is the increase in hygiene practices and the provision of masks and shopping gloves for customers to reduce contamination. While countries like China are confident they have dealt with the infections, there are still concerns of re-infections becoming a thing, particularly in movie theaters and other social places.
Without yet having a cure for the disease, medical professionals are not sure of some of the medication's effects. Residents are also resuming some social interactions after a long period of social isolation in fear of the outbreak; however, many are still anxious about it. Such scenarios are a reflection that things will not return to normalcy immediately, and a significant number of interventions will be of help.
Ways of Adjusting
1. Taking One Day at a Time
When going through major changes, it is helpful to think about what you have to do today only. The saying: “One day at a time” is very important. Doing this helps decrease anxiety, because instead of having to mentally tackle a mountain of changes, we only have to focus on the ones from today.
2. Get Social
You don’t have to go to a crowded party to get social. This can be a zoom activity, bingo online, charades over skype, facetime or a simple phone call. But try to do it as an activity that you actually see the person, meaning using video. That makes them more personalized and feels more social than just hearing their voices.
3. Avoid too many Social Interactions
While life is resuming to normalcy, social interaction in large groups of people may lead to exposure to contraction of the virus for the people that have not been tested yet. Therefore, to reduce re-infection anxiety, people must learn to interact in small groups or with close family and friends before gathering in large crowds.
4. Practice Mindfulness
Meditation. mindful yoga, coloring for adults, or maybe even building a puzzle. Anything that takes the stress away from being stuck at home and makes you feel at peace by focusing on being in the present.
Log into YouTube and look for a workout video. Some fitness coaching even have live workouts if you need someone to motivate you to keep going. Or maybe go for a walk or run around the block of your house.
7. Have Healthy Foods
Try to avoid junk food and excess alcohol. Eat something that makes you feel full, yet light. Many people think that eating less means eating healthy, and that’s a big NO!. Eat something that gives you energy such as fruits, salads, nuts and make sure to include protein.
8. Seeking Mental Health Support
Talking to a professional is a resource available to anyone, and it is especially more important after experiencing:
A traumatic loss of a loved one: The loss of a loved one during COVID-19 times has been extremely difficult as many have not been able to spend time with their loved one or have a traditional wake or funeral.
Significant challenges in coping with the pandemic: Panic attacks, high levels of anxiety, depression can be the result of the difficulties experienced during quarantine and social distancing.
Burnout or PTSD for medical professionals: For those in the medical field, the high demand of the job, the sad situations seen, the tough choices made, and the constant fear of contracting the virus can leave many feeling burnout or PTSD.
Financial losses: Many have been faced with significant financial losses. This causes an enormous amount of stress and life changes.
Seeking help from a trained professional can be a great way to cope with the trauma from the various issues that have affected people during the lockdown or isolation period.
9. Engage in a Hobby
Adjusting to the new life is difficult as interactions have significantly changed due to the loss of interactions and the limitations in movement or travel. Finding new hobbies that create a balance between outdoors and indoors will help reduce the anxiety of interacting with people. Besides, if your plans for travel have been affected, it will be essential to find a hobby to replace the free time and help ease the frustration from the canceled trips.
Maintaining a healthy balance between social, work, and personal aspects are crucial, and this involves easing out from lockdown or social isolation. It is essential to be patient when interacting, resuming work and business, dealing with burnout, and getting a hobby to replace the canceled plans.
10. Dealing with Grief
Since it seems the virus will be with us for some time, learning how to deal with the grief from all the current losses could be helpful. It doesn’t matter the kind of loss you are experiencing, know that your feelings are valid and that you are not alone in all this. In case you are struggling with immense grief feelings like loss of a job, or death of a loved one, a mental health professional’s help may come in handy. Due to physical distancing recommended to fight the virus, many therapists are offering support through online platforms. To find different finds to deal with the grief of a loved one, read on this article “Dealing with Losses Caused by COVID-19”
But most importantly, remember that whether you are grieving over finances or a loved one, you are not alone!
Your Therapy Friend,
Sofia Robirosa is the owner of Infinite Therapeutic Services and is a Perinatal & Relationships Expert. She offers individual, couples, and family counseling to individuals seeking to enhance their relationship with their children and significant other. Her private practice is located in Plantation, FL. She attended Nova Southeastern University for both her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy and in Business Administration. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a Perinatal Mental Health Certified Professional, and a Leader in Active Parenting for children and teens. She loves her family, which consists of her husband, daughter and son, and two dogs. Some of her interests outside of work include spending time outdoors, traveling, and dining. Read more about her at: www.infinitetherapeuticservices.com
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