We’ve made it to the first day of summer! The number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths are down and the trend is described as “hopeful.” There is talk about how our children may return to school this fall. All signs of our movement beyond the pandemic crisis are there, yet we feel anxious.
Our new reality includes seeing others in public in masks--or not. Being told to continue to physically distance from others yet--seeing those who do not abide by that ‘rule’. Feeling preoccupied with our body’s location in relation to others… wondering when they washed their hands last… questioning what we should touch… hearing every cough around us… wondering if is it safe to use a public restroom… and on and on…
These preoccupying thoughts and worries as we begin to move outside our safe cocoon can escalate our anxiety and sense of personal safety, even as we long for social re-engagement with others across the fabric of our day-to-day lives.
Ultimately, we must balance our personal need for connection with others with the very real knowledge that the virus is NOT eradicated. We have a responsibility to manage our activities in ways that honor our instincts to stay safe. Perhaps some re-engagement anxiety is not such a bad thing? However, if you are feeling overwhelmed or surrounded by others who are taking all this less seriously than you are, consider talking to a caring counselor for assistance in managing this new--yet very real—anxiety.