It is hard to adapt to a situation you have not been put in before. Once the year 2020 brought yet another disaster in the form of a pandemic, people all around the world had to settle into their homes and quarantine indefinitely.
But as difficult as it has been to do that, the world seems to be close to going back to normal after months of isolation. Many restrictions are being lifted globally, and while that does not mean that the threat of the coronavirus is gone, it does mean that the end of quarantine is in sight. Yet for some people, especially introverts or people suffering from anxiety, socializing and going about their day again like this pandemic has been nothing but a phase is a hard task.
What happened over the course of the past months was not a small thing, and recovering from the toll quarantine took on people’s mental health is something that is not talked about enough. But as with anything, it is important to ease into things instead of diving in headfirst. So in order to be prepared to reenter society, there are some small and healthy steps you can take towards readying yourself.
Mark the change
Acting as if the past couple of months did not happen or ignoring the changes you went through during self-isolation is not a solution. Whether this quarantine proved to be a chance for you to be productive or was just an emotionally draining period, it still happened in unique and odd circumstances. It could have changed the way you view yourself and your relationships with others. So, when you plan to go out into the world, come out visibly changed. You could do something spontaneous to your hair that you have been meaning to do since forever but never have, or try a different style, or just change an aspect of your personality you have always wanted to work on. Whatever the change, insignificant or important, it will make you feel like you came out of quarantine a little bit better.
Reconnect with your loved ones in a safe space
If you are an extrovert and quarantine has been simply a pit stop that you cannot wait to get past, then there are ways to go back to socializing while still maintaining the safety norms. Getting in touch with friends or a partner or family is a priority after a period of separation, so when the time comes to reconnect, make sure you do it in a space where you feel protected from contamination. You could invite over a friend you have not seen in a very long time and miss or visit people who you are sure have respected the quarantine measures. Regardless of what your choice will be, it is crucial to remember that your health still comes first.
Camping is the in-between place of feeling safe from the virus and enjoying time outside of your house. It allows you to keep your distance from the risks of going back to normal and also gives you the chance to finally relax in a place that is not your own bedroom. The stillness of nature and the disconnection from the pitfall the internet has become is guaranteed to finally give you that peace of mind you have been craving. So grab your camping gear and head towards the nearest site you can find for the opportunity to get away from the craziness of it all.
Set firm boundaries
The lifting of restrictions should not be confused with the virus’s disappearance. The chances of infection are still the same, and the safety guidelines should not be ignored. That is why, when you do decide to fully go out into the world, you need to set boundaries that will keep you protected from those who are not as worried about COVID-19 anymore. You should still maintain the same distance as before and wear a mask and gloves, even if others around you don’t, and most of all, you should not let careless people step over the boundaries that make you feel safe.
Try online therapy
There is no excluding the possibility that quarantine has been a hard time for some people’s mental health. Being alone for a long period of time or being around unsupportive partners or family members can affect someone’s mental stability in ways that only a licensed therapist can help with. While the option of going to therapy sessions is not available right now, there is online therapy. Whether it’s through texting or video chat, talking to a therapist about the impact recent events have had on you is a key step in recovering.
Being scared to reenter society is normal considering the unusual circumstances people have found themselves in. What most don’t understand is that there is no going back to normal, because protective masks, careful hygiene, and social distancing are the new normal. If you are eager to find your rhythm again or just anxious to see how the situation will further develop, it is essential to keep in mind that even though the virus is not gone, there still is life after quarantine.