Lifted travel bans, indoor dining options, and summer pool parties, the maskless life is coming back, and we can finally gather with beloved friends and family. For extroverts and introverts alike, we might face anxiety, loneliness and depression during a year of being cooped up at home. As exciting as it is that the world is getting back to normal, some people might find it difficult to transition back to an in-person social scene.
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From starting conversation, eating around people, to making friends at work or school settings, those daily activities would become challenging for some of us. Emma Chamberlain, a LA-based YouTuber, stated in her podcast that she felt more self-conscious and drained when being around people and/or after a social event, which has never happened before the pandemic. Therefore, whoever is feeling anxious, you are not alone. However, you need to face your feelings and take time to adapt and deal with them.
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So how can we overcome social anxiety and get back to social life as before? First, we should recognize that anxiety and uncomfort are normal. We do not have to scrutinize ourselves critically if we experience anxiety. The lockdown was new to many of us, and the uncertainty and loneliness we faced at home might change our personality over a year. Take a deep breath and give yourself time to adjust, and you will be fine.
Secondly, practice makes perfect. If you feel anxious going to a social event, you should start with little steps by going for a walk or going to a grocery store. Additionally, try to strike the balance between socializing and self care in your weekly schedule. It is vital to focus on your feelings by gauging how much alone time you need before the next social event.
Lastly, if you are self-conscious in a social event or conversation, you can reduce it by telling yourself that no one is noticing you. Remember that people nowadays tend to be self-centered. Try to be open-minded as well and switch focus from yourself to others.