It’s almost impossible to detail the many ways the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world we live in. Some of the changes to the way we work, interact, and travel may be with us all for a while. Others have to do with how we navigate shifting or uncertain circumstances in our personal lives right now. For many, the biggest challenge may simply be re-entering society after a period of quarantine or lockdown. Even those who are vaccinated and can be confident about the safety of the spaces they are entering might lack confidence in something far more essential: themselves.
Understanding re-entry anxiety.
Long months in lockdown, cut off from typical activities and interactions, may have left you feeling unhappy with your physical health and appearance as well as anxious about your status in the world you’ve been cut off from. If so, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s so common there’s already a name for it. “Re-entry anxiety” is a phrase that covers an array of social anxieties one may experience after quarantine, from fear of contracting or spreading disease, to agoraphobia, to dissatisfaction with one’s own health or appearance. So if you are trying to figure out why the prospect of meeting up with friends or going back to the physical workplace is so stressful, take comfort in knowing that this is normal and natural. And there are ways of coping with it.
Start Your Fix By Switching Up Your Meal Plan
What you put into your body makes a difference. And if you’re like many others in society right now, you’ve probably been doing a lot of comfort eating, or just-whatever eating, while waiting out lockdown. Or maybe you picked up a delicious bread-baking habit that has led to an uptick in carb intake. Whatever the case, the best first step you can make towards a healthier and more confident you is to improve your daily nutrition. Think about what your body may need that it hasn’t been getting: probiotics to improve your gut health? More protein, and fewer empty carbs? Focus on eating foods that are high in Omega-3s and vitamin D, as these will not only improve your physical health, but also boost your mood. For products and resources to aid you in your journey to better nutrition, peruse the array of beneficial supplements offered by iSmart Nutrition.
Exercise Every Day
Maybe it was difficult for you to exercise while in quarantine, and you are unhappy with your present fitness. This can be especially difficult because lack of confidence makes it harder to venture out, and you may not feel safe or confident getting back to the gym just yet. It’s easy to feel discouraged about your physical fitness, but try to think about it in a long-term manner. No, you’re not going to get an easy magic fitness fix overnight. But start now, don’t give up, and you will be closer every day to meeting your fitness goals. For those unable or unwilling to take gym time now, some other options for fitness include running or walking, dance workouts, yoga, or weight training.
Make A List Of Resolutions
Usually, we save resolutions for the new year. But think of reentering society as another kind of beginning, and you’ll see the value of writing a list of resolutions to follow or goals to pursue. This will help you take stock of who you want to be, even in the midst of changing circumstances. Maybe the pandemic has made you more aware of those in your society who are in need, and you’re interested in giving back. Consider volunteering with a charitable organization or donating to area food banks. Or perhaps you have discovered that you are burnt out at work and want a reset. Consider going back to school for an online business degree. Pursuing education in management or marketing will lead to additional opportunities as you plot a career change.
Everyone is different, and people may process the demands of this unusual time in different ways and at different paces. Wherever you are in your journey, try to find a balance between mindfulness in the here-and-now, and focus on achieving your goals. This will help you achieve the confidence you need as you return to your former interactions and activities.
About the Author
Jason Lewis is a Certified Personal Trainer with a BA in Human Performance and Exercise Science. Jason is a Personal Trainer by day and primary caregiver of his Mom after her surgery. He writes for Strong Well and enjoys creating fitness programs that cater to the needs of people over 65.
Visit him site at: strongwell.org