How to handle post pandemic reopening anxiety?

 How to handle post pandemic reopening anxiety ?

How to handle post pandemic reopening anxiety?

Re-opening challenges us all but self-described Aspy Ben Sorensen thinks we should go at our own speed.
Lockdown is ending, it is what we all wanted but for some, it presents a whole new range of anxiety.
It is been a hard two years for everyone, particularly those with anxiety and depression, not to mention Autism. Mental health has been at rock bottom.
But the tough reality both now and historically, is that psychological state, as altogether crises, is secondary to survival.
We have been asked to do so many things that are not comfortable, or that we do not like. It is been the first time many of us privileged folks have been told what to do for our safety, and it is been fair to say we sucked at it.
We learnt slowly, many people kicking and screaming like it was ripping our soul out. Who would have thought self-preservation, perspective and caring for our community during a worldwide pandemic would be so hard for some?
I digress. It is been hard for us all, and even as we have adapted to the new normal of lockdown, we start to open up again bringing new anxiety spikes for many.
This has been the motto of the pandemic. So many changes so fast on numerous different fronts. And, It is hard to keep up.
As an autistic person, this has personally been my greatest challenge. Running scenarios in my head, planning the longer term, planning an outing, all done and redone 1,000,000 times.


What we do know is things will constantly change supported health advice, new research, politics (sadly), public health data and the way messages are communicated.
I have found, as silly because it sounds, it helps to expect and plan for change.
I have been reading Taleb’s work, The Black Swan, which I have found quite unintentionally helpful during the widespread. It outlines how we assume we know all possible outcomes, when in fact we do not. What lies outside our assumed range of possible outcomes, is a black swan.
So, as we open up and things start to vary and alter again, attempt to notice black swans, and see the beauty in them rolling with whatever comes your way.


After farewell apart, ruminating on our internal thoughts, couch time and watching Netflix can make the thought of being social again draining.
From the last few lockdowns, I have found audiences can be ‘soul tired,’ wanting desperately to have their old life back, but feeling too exhausted to enjoy it as they think they once did.
It is okay to start slow. Just because we will leave, does not mean we should always, and positively does not mean we would like to overcompensate or structure for the lost time.
Autistic and neurodiverse people are experts at this, knowing that every outing will take its toll, and will need recharge time to make it sustainable.
Try one-on-one catch-up, shorter shows or events, and group activities to dip your proverbial toe within the social water again. There is no rush.
Many of us will also realise the energy, financial and time expense of our old lives was not bringing as much joy as we first thought. It is okay to change and grow and for different things to bring you joy just do it consciously, and for you.


This category had been a problem well before the widespread, however, the past two years appear to have magnified those personalities creating an even bigger problem than usual. Toxic behaviour, in particular toxic masculinity, is not just a problem for women but everyone.
There is growing anxiety over the behaviour of those people believing the health orders do not apply to them and using aggression to bully their way into venues that are at capacity. Pushing themselves into an area unvaccinated or going out while experiencing symptoms, or maybe at its most elementary, not getting tested whilst symptomatic.
The health orders apply to everyone and are for everyone’s safety no matter what you ‘believe.’
It is also good to note, with or without health orders, a venue or business is one hundred per cent in their right not to allow you entry or serve you. So, the short answer is, my business my rules, so do not be a d**k.


It is okay to take it slow. It is okay to say no to events and social time. It is okay to have your logical science-backed rules to keep you safer. It is okay to only see your fully vaccinated friends (reason, season, lifetime). It is okay to sleep more. It is okay to have alone time, and it is okay to still sit on the couch and watch Netflix, and most of all, it is okay to take your time to regulate to opening up to the planet and letting it in.
We all have a special speed and path that is right for us, and there will be more black swans to affect. Many folks have sacrificed or lost such a lot, and as we venture out, we do not know the extent of another’s burden.
So, take it at your pace, with kindness and respect for yourself et al. so we will enjoy life in whatever form we will as a community together.
It is time to ‘get on the beers’ but only when you are ready.

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