Feeling anxious about re-opening? You are not alone.

Things are finally starting to open up again and there is some positivity in the air! First comes excitement – but this also cues some feelings of panic. Have you experienced this?

There is a condition emerging called Post-COVID Stress Disorder. Of course, every case is unique depending on the experience you’ve had this past year. I’m far from an expert on this topic, but I certainly feel some effects. I think we can all agree that COVID has been a challenging or perhaps even traumatic experience for all of us in some way or another.

As a social person, I’ve been surprised at the extent to which I’m recently feeling a level of anxiety. I assumed that I would be excited and thrilled to see things re-opening again. Part of me is extremely happy of course, but part of me is also feeling stressed & anxious about it. I sense resistance within me when I see footage of sporting events in the U.S. packed with people. I certainly want to see family & friends in person, but I also feel a need to protect my little bubble that I’ve been living in. I know that I’m not alone as I’ve had conversations with a number of my students who are feeling the same way.

As you know, I’m a big believer in energy. This past year has been unique as we have been “forced” to close ourselves off energetically. In turn we have become more sensitive to external energies. Let’s compare this to doing a nutritional cleanse. When you eliminate toxins from your diet for a period of time – more often than not, you really feel the impact of the less nutritious foods when you re-introduce them to your body. You wonder how you were ever able to eat those foods before. Yet, the reality is that these foods always made you feel lousy, you just didn’t notice how they made you feel because you were numb to it.

The same thing happens energetically. You’ve essentially been on an energetic cleanse during this very long lockdown. It makes sense that you will now have a heightened sensitivity to the energy from people around you as you re-emerge into the world. It’s quite fascinating to think of it that way!

It’s also important to recognize that we may have changed to some degree at a fundamental level. Our priorities, values and days have shifted considerably this past year or so. Part of the anxiety we are experiencing is some resistance to going back to how things were. I believe it’s essential that we embrace a new way of being that reflects who we are today and not necessarily how we were pre-pandemic.

Here are a few ways to help you as you re-emerge into the world:

Be kind and gentle toward yourself

  • An extra dose of self-compassion will go a long way during this time

Notice when you feel triggered 

  • Pause and ask yourself what you need

Take your time

  • There is no rush to get back to “normal” life

Be intentional

  • Remember that you have the choice to consciously create your life –  you may choose to create a new “normal”

Practice saying NO

  • It’s not because you are invited to do things that you have to say yes – say yes to activities and people that fuel you and let go of the rest

Remember, this situation we are in is not unlike when we were children experiencing our annual first day of school jitters. We had a mix of excitement and feelings of anxiety because of the unknown. However, we got through it. We got used to the schedule, we found our people and ultimately relaxed. The same thing will happen now. Trust that you will find your groove. 

I already feel better. Sending much love to you. We’ve got this.