2 years of Covid- 19: How do you know if your social anxiety is normal?

   2 years of Covid- 19:  How do you know if your social anxiety is normal?

2 years of Covid- 19:  How do you know if your social anxiety is normal?- ichhori.com


For nearly two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on our lives, from lockdowns to quarantines and isolation to missing out on normal in-person events.


While the pandemic might not be over, many people are trying to transition back into their so-called “normal way of life.”


As you begin to attend more events and do more things in person, you may begin to feel anxious.


According to Dr. Justin Ross, a licenced clinical psychologist and the director of workplace well-being at UCHealth, experiencing post-pandemic social anxiety is normal.


1. Does omicron cause loss of smell or taste?

"Anxiety has been a defining mental health experience of COVID and the pandemic in general." It has ebbed and flowed with the various variants we've encountered, and omicron is no exception," Ross explained. "On the mental health front, we're seeing a high level of anxiety, particularly COVID anxiety, as omicron continues to be so prevalent."


Social anxiety

According to Ross, as the pandemic's uncertainty grows, it's important to recognise that anxiety can as well.


"We don't have a reasonable ability to know, predict, or have clarity about what's coming, and that's going to be the first building block for anxiety," Ross said.


Not having immediate social control right now can also be a source of social anxiety.


"We don't have that immediate control over making sure we're safe and healthy," he explained.


Ross told KDVR that people are experiencing "a conflict in values," particularly in the social realm.


"On the one hand, they want to stay safe and healthy, which has been true throughout the pandemic." But, on the other hand, there's this strong desire to reclaim a sense of normalcy, and there's this renewed desire to get together and go to restaurants and places and do the social thing, so those two values are frequently at odds."


Right now, there is a natural conflict between the desire to be social and the desire to maintain one's health and safety.


"It starts with a sense of being overwhelmed and a sense that your safety may be jeopardised," Ross explained. "Many of us have had to hunker down in recent years, and the novelty of getting together and being in large groups again can feel very overwhelming very quickly."

Coping with social anxiety

The first step in coping with social anxiety is to recognise that it is a completely normal part of your experiences.


"The first thing we need to do is bring some normalcy to recognising that the experience is really common and a human experience that occurs because of those variables, because of not having predictability, not having control, and having things that you care about feel threatened in some way, shape, or form," he said.


The second step, according to Ross, is to recognise that we have the ability to influence our anxiety responses through our breathing and the way we think.


2. What’s the difference between N95 and KN95 masks?

"Stopping and taking slow deep rhythmic breaths for a minute can really help reduce that sense of anxiety in the mind and in the body," Ross explained. "This is an old as dirt idea that we've heard and said our entire lives: just take a breath when we're upset." When we are under pressure to do something, we can become anxious. We feel compelled to do so, but we don't have a way out."


If you're starting to feel anxious, Ross recommends reconnecting with your values and priorities and thinking about what's most important in that situation.

3. When is it time to seek professional help?

In general, Ross said there’s going to be a lot of re-emerging anxiety that people experience as they get back to “searching every inch of the world.”


If the anxiety persists, you should seek professional assistance. The White House plans to distribute 400 million N95 masks for free. If it gets to the point where it's debilitating, it's affecting your ability to live your life authentically the way you'd like, and it's doing that on a regular basis." … "It's affecting you for multiple days, multiple different events, and those are probably signs that this anxiety is progressing to the point where it could benefit from some professional help," Ross explained.


"Give yourself permission to recognise that what you're feeling is normal and that it's information for you to analyse," he advised. "You can examine your values and conflicts, and that can really help you dial in [and have] that response in mind and body to navigate that situation appropriately."


Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House medical adviser, emphasised the importance of mental health in the midst of the pandemic last month.


"We're dealing with a very important and difficult situation right now with mental health," Fauci said on NewsNation's"Morning in America."


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the pandemic has had a "significant impact on our lives."


The CDC stated, "Many of us are facing challenges that can be stressful, overwhelming, and cause strong emotions in adults and children."


According to the CDC, stress can cause feelings such as fear, anger, sadness, worry, and frustration. It can also cause difficulty sleeping or concentrating, as well as physical symptoms like headaches and other body pain.


The CDC recommends taking care of your body, taking time to relax, and connecting with others in a safe manner.


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