A lot of adjustments have been required regarding the pandemic and some of these adjustments have brought on some new struggles. Easing back into a "normal" way of life (whatever that means), as if nothing ever happened just doesn't seem realistic at this point.
Here are some tips on moving forward:
Do not overcommit to social events. Jumping into the deep end isn't always the best way to go, sometimes you can end up feeling like you're drowning. Try to pace yourself. You can start off with short one-to-one meetings with a friend, then gradually work your way up to longer periods of time with more people if you want. Social anxiety tends to spike after long periods of isolation so please be kind to yourself in this time.
Do things that you enjoy in your own time, when you are ready. Just because more things are open doesn't mean you need to do EVERYTHING! What do you actually enjoy? Did you book that trip to the postal museum because you are actual interested, or just because you can?
Learn to say "no" and let people know how you are feeling. Not everyone is at the same place, some people still want to take precautions, others are engaging with world raw. Just let people know where the rawness stops for you, discuss your boundaries and do not feel obliged.
Speak to your employer about your needs! Workplaces have seen many changes and many have learnt to be more accommodating. If you feel like you are overwhelmed, make sure you make documented expressions of this and attempt to work with your employer to make any necessary adjustments.
Accept your body and yourself. I know, it's a lot easier said that done. Self-consciousness is bound to happen after a year of inactivity, this is a universal experience. Picking yourself apart doesn't help, you can set realistic goals and do activities that support progress towards those goals all while still appreciating yourself in the process!
Look back on the difficulties you have survived and the resilience you have displayed. Even in the face of lost opportunities and uncertainty, here you are, on the other side! Noting down the struggles you have overcome can help you in the future if you experience something similar!
Take the time to mourn. If you have lost a loved one during the pandemic, vaccines and talks of a new "normal" can feel surreal and hard to move on from - like the world continues to spin, even if it feels like your world has stopped. If you would like some support you can speak to the Cruse Bereavement free helpline on 0808 808 1677 or go to their website here to find some FREE local support (UK based).
For education on personal development and wellbeing come to some Lafiya Health Workshops to get your mind and body right - and of course, some workshops are FREE! For free personal therapeutic support, you can search online for your local IAPT service. And for more in-depth therapeutic support, you can book an Assessment Consultation appointment with me - shameless plug, I know!
The take-away message here is to give yourself the space to identify your needs and meet them. It has been a tough time, seamless adaptation shouldn't be demanded from you so don't demand it from yourself!