8 Tips for Dealing With Post-Covid Social Anxiety

by | Sep 23, 2021 | Career Change and Transition, Personal Development | 0 comments

Do you hesitate to put on your business clothes again?

Not feeling like returning to your old work life after a l.o.o.o.o.o.n.g break? It could be that you may suffer from the post-covid social anxiety syndrome. Well, continue reading what it means and what to do…..

Offices are reopening (at least here in Finland), employees are expected to show up back at their workplaces. The world is slowly getting back to normal. Thinking positive and being (covid) negative ☺️ – we all try to see it that way.

Can’t wait to get back to the office?

Various scenarios are popping up around us, some people couldn’t wait to leave their nests, to get away from their houses, spouses, kids, and pets for a few hours at least, to reclaim small fragments of their freedom or space of their own. Yes, for many it was so challenging to stay at home, cooped up in a small space, all family members – several generations, all locked up together, under enormous and unfamiliar pressure. Lots of pressure – emotional, economical, existential, lots of various fears…

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People, in general, are very adaptable creatures. Working remotely for more than a year, we got used to it, it became a sort of our “new normal”. We simply had to make it work!

Preferring to stay working remotely?

So, how to deal with it, when comes that bright sunny day, which we have dreamt about, and we are finally allowed to go back to our offices – BUT we surprise ourselves with a strange new feeling – a feeling NOT TO GO. We would love to get out, but our mind sends different strange signals. It happens to many people across the population. They suffer social anxiety, a very common diagnosis.

It might look like in this ”hilarious” video -please see it, it will make your day more bright and will get you to smile, we promise:

We don’t talk about hard clinical patients here, it can be a kind of fear or a worry with possible various levels of intensity, which makes lives difficult. It already has a name –>   post-covid social anxiety syndrome.

It is a very common issue, so don’t panic, if you find yourself in such a situation. It doesn’t have to be a real social anxiety diagnosis, many people simply don’t feel comfortable facing changes, it can be a light version of “worries”, loneliness. This is a unique time for all of us. How to get out of that, what can be first aid, if you feel so? Here are few tips for you:

Tips for dealing with post-covid social anxiety: 

  • Don’t blame yourself for feeling somehow awkward or different – in the contrary – there is research supporting theory, that these people are more accepted, more likeable, more “human beings”. BTW – I have read somewhere, that “who is perfect, belongs to the museum” – and you don’t aim there, or do you?
  • Don’t worry IN ADVANCE! Try to stay at the present moment, focus on “here and now” and justify your fears. We very often worry beforehand!!! Expecting the worst and much longer before the situation comes. Try to avoid doing that – you will find NO threat right here and right now…
  • Take baby steps – in all you are about to do. Try to apply this to all your projects. Focus on small doable goals, which you are able to imagine, see and do rather quickly. It will support your vision of success in anything you do.
  • With your beloved, family members, friends. Share what you fear, what you worry about. Shared worry becomes half.
  • Du not blame yourself for not using your given free time effectively – no critique. It’s gone – so no meaning to reopening that.

And also:

  • Go out! Avoidance doesn’t help. Better strategize. The more you try to avoid it, the more anxiety comes. We are naturally social beings, and the only solution for a kind of fear from going out of your safe space is to discover, that it is OK to be there. Again – in baby steps.
  • Focus on work. What do you risk by not showing up at your workplace? You might be fired, or not getting promoted, no salary rise or at least you might end up less accepted or liked. So, try to get into the radical presence mode and simply focus on your work.
  • Try to calm down – what about the meditation? I know, it is not a typical business-related topic – but you can give it a try… Dr Jenny Taitz, assistant clinical professor in psychiatry at UCLA recommends in HBR (Harvard Business Review) podcast of Morra Aarons – Mele about social anxiety- the Love and kindness meditation. Practising this meditation for about 6 weeks according to the research on North Carolina University takes the negative focus away – so maybe it is worth giving it a try… 

 

Can you see it as a great gift?

Still not feeling to go back to your “good old life”? Then… take this situation as a great gift. You have a unique opportunity now to look at your life from a distance. You can recalibrate a lot, leave behind what is not according to your own desire or dream. Thanks to the time spent out of your workplace you got a different perspective of the whole situation. Listen carefully to that little quiet inner voice – it usually tells the truth. If your fear to go back to the office is not a post-covid syndrome, it might be a good starting point of the greater change of your life – and you can start with our online program Career and Life by Your Design.

With passionate regards ,-)

P.S. If you like this post, feel free to share it with your friends! You find the sharing buttons on the left side of the screen. And you will find more exciting posts like this also on our blog.

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Lubica Kangas

The Author

Lubica Kangas is a trusted Executive Search Partner for senior-level recruitments across different locations worldwide. Her long-term clients are global public listed companies, as well as smaller and growth organizations with international business.

As she is a great example of “loving what you do”, she also teaches and coaches individuals in their career transitions for doing more of what they love and have more fulfillment in their lives, mostly through her workshops and online programs.

On a personal note, Lubica is a multi-passionate entrepreneur and never-ending optimist with love for good food, travels, Latin rhythm, and nature.

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