If there is one thing good that can be said about COVID-19, it’s that it has brought about a new focus on mental health. Living with prolonged anxiety, fear, and depression is expected to take a toll on anyone. This, combined with a fundamental shift in our daily activities and interactions from one that is highly social to one that is highly personal resulted in many people feeling as though they had to endure the struggle all on their own.
Fortunately, change is coming and a return to a more normal, social life is hopefully right around the corner. Human beings are social by nature and despite the positive impact of being able to re-engage with family, friends, and coworkers, not everyone is excited about it. For those who struggle with social anxiety disorder, thinking about life after lockdown creates feelings of anxiety and fear. If you’re one of those who are apprehensive about the return to a more social world, we can help. Contact Blair Wellness Group in Beverly Hills for an anxiety psychologist who can put your mind at ease.
What is Social Anxiety Disorder?
Many people don’t like to be in the spotlight or feel nervous in some social situations. These feelings are completely normal. However, for some, having to speak to a stranger, talk in front of a group, or go on an interview can cause extreme anxiety that manifests into physical symptoms such as a rapid heart rate, excessive sweating, nauseous, and trouble breathing.
Dealing with social anxiety not only makes everyday life difficult and uncomfortable, but it can also develop into other mental health concerns such as depression, social isolation, and substance abuse. Luckily, if you’re one of the many who are worried about the return to more social life after COVID, there are things you can do to make interacting with others less stressful.
Coping With Social Anxiety Post-COVID
Many people can’t wait to dive back into life as they knew it before the pandemic hit. Some are already making plans for parties, events, and vacations. Although they may be ready, that doesn’t mean you have to jump right into situations that make you feel uneasy. Being socially isolated for an extended period of time may leave you feeling “out of practice” or unsure of how to interact when you’re with other people. To get used to more social contact, start by meeting up with just one or two people that you feel most comfortable with and trust. Over time, you can build your confidence so attending a big end-of-summer party won’t seem so daunting.
Besides taking the time to ease back into social situations, there are other ways to overcome the negative feelings associated with social anxiety disorder. First, learn to acknowledge your feelings of fear and anxiety. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about, and there are many other people who feel the same way you do. Self-acceptance can help you feel a sense of freedom and control. Second, don’t feel as though you are all alone in your struggle to cope with social situations. Seeking help from an anxiety psychologist can be very effective in helping you learn to break free from the negative thought patterns that fuel your anxiety.
If you’re looking for an anxiety psychologist in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Brentwood, or the surrounding area, please call Blair Wellness Group at 310.999.4996 to schedule an appointment.