Is the term “getting back into the social scene” exciting or terrifying? Or both? We are once again in uncharted territory, just as we were when the pandemic began. All emotions are welcome here.
While going out to dinner with friends may have been straightforward a year and a half ago, it may now be accompanied by nervousness, reluctance, and even bewilderment.
Whether we’re swimming back in headlong, dipping our toes in, or opting not to swim at all, these five ideas can help us negotiate the post-pandemic social environment.
1. Recognize This Transition Isn’t Easy
Uncertainty, excitement, and nervousness are common emotions when entering the world of socializing again. It is important to recognize that this transition period is not simple. The past two and a half years were tumultuous, and while they were also relatively short, it feels like an eternity.
2. Keep Focused on the Present
While the past can be a great learning experience, it is not fair for the current situation to be upstaged by it. Socializing is not to be dreaded, it is not to be overthought, and it is not to be a burden. Some of our favorite friends will be there, and even though the occasion might be different, the experience will be the same.
3. Start Small
The first step when getting back into the social scene is to pick an occasion that sounds appealing, but not overwhelming. This could be something like going out for a happy hour after work or having a potluck with four friends. Maybe we want to dust off our old suit or dress for work. Some people may want to go out to a nice restaurant and get some good food and great service. Or, maybe they want to hang out at home and catch a movie together. Whatever they choose, it’s best not to go too big or too small.
4. Prioritize “Recovery” Time
People have responsibilities and routines, and that is okay. It is also okay to take time to focus on our own recovery. This can be a topic that is difficult to discuss because many people are determined to put on a brave face and have us believe that they are perfectly fine. Let close friends and family know that it is okay to be vulnerable and that you are thankful for their understanding. Be honest and direct, and focus on the positive aspects of your recovery.
5. Embrace Your Community
The community went through a lot together and supported each other immensely. It is important to embrace this community, even if this means making new friends. Your friends were and are very understanding, but do not allow them to take over most of your new social life. Find and make new friends, lean on familiar shoulders when you need help and use your intuition to guide you in the right direction.
We are in the very early stages of socializing again, let’s give ourselves a few weeks to ease into the transition. Some people may feel that they are starting to be comfortable and stable. If this is the case, it’s perfectly fine to go ahead and dive right in – headfirst, toe-first, or swim at their own pace.
If you are experiencing post-pandemic social anxiety, it’s vital that you take the time to deal with it. The best way to deal with post-pandemic stress and fear of normalcy is to talk to a therapist. Therapy 224×7 is where you’ll find a trusted therapist in Brooklyn, NY, who can be a good resource for you. Schedule your therapy session today!