3 Ways to Deal with Post-Pandemic Anxiety
by Natashya Khoo on Oct 26, 2021
Isn’t it wild how it’s been almost two years since the pandemic started?
With restrictions easing up and the world opening back up again, you might be starting to feel a hint of anxiety at the idea of going back into the real world. Whether it’s COVID-related anxiety, or if you’re nervous about moving from WFH to WFO, here are some ways to overcome life after lockdown:
1. Don’t dismiss the anxiety
If the first thing you say to a crying friend is ‘don’t cry’, this one’s for you. Trying to push feelings of anxiety away might make you feel relief in the moment, but it will cause the emotion to pile up. This can make it harder to deal with down the road.
Instead, when a pang of anxiety hits, give yourself the following few minutes to feel it. When you’re ready, try to ask yourself what the worst outcome could be, and write it down if you’d like. The next day, look through your list and see what you can do should these outcomes come to fruition.
You may be surprised to see it might not be that bad after all- and if it is, you now have the space to prepare for it.
2. Do what makes you feel safe
Some people need bubble baths and facials to feel better; some prefer a sweat session at the gym. Our personal favourite is some meditation to help us clear out our headspace. Either way, find what helps soothe your anxiety and stick with it! Forming a self-care routine around things that make you happy has moved from being a luxury to a necessity over these past few months.
Aside from the feel-good stuff, continue doing what helps you feel safest in these COVID-19 times. Double mask, carry a sanitiser with you, the works- even if the people around you might have eased up a little. And if you’re part of the eased-up gang, stay safe!
As long as you are confident in what you’re doing to take care of yourself, don’t let what could ‘potentially’ happen keep you from living your life (within your means, of course).
3. Talk to someone about your emotions
There have been so many people who experienced anxiety (and even depression) for the first time in quarantine. It can be scary going through all those overwhelming emotions, especially alone.
Identify people in your life you can trust, and tell them what you’re feeling. That could look like a family member, a friend, a religious leader, or even friends online. Most of the time it’s not about the advice they can give, but having someone to just listen, non-judgmentally, to what you’re going through.
There is also no shame in talking to someone who can help on a more professional level, like a counselor or a therapist. If you’re worried about how much it’ll cost you, here’s a list of affordable ones you can find in Malaysia. If it helps, reframe the idea of seeking help as a space where you pick up new tools to manage your emotions better.
Everyone experiences anxiety differently, so it’s important to do what works for you- as long as it does not do further harm. Take care of yourself, #LIVLOLAFAM; we’re rooting for you :)