Medical expert explains 'pandemic re-entry anxiety' upon returning to work, school
As many people get vaccinated and pandemic restrictions are eased, many are back in the office, back in school, and back around other people.
And while some are excited, many people are also experiencing what is being called "pandemic re-entry anxiety."
"Here we are, we've been told we are fighting this war against an enemy we can't see and that to keep ourselves safe, we have to wear that mask and we have to stay home, and we have to stop doing the things that we love, stop hugging the people that we care about, and all of a sudden we are saying, 'well, maybe it is time to stop some of that safety behavior. maybe it's time to start living again,'" says Dr. Adam Mandel, PHD, a clinical psychologist and faculty at NYU Langone Health.
Mandel says the human brain is still trained to fight the invisible enemy of coronavirus.
"To step into the world and start hugging people again is going to be hard for a lot of us," Mandel explains.
People have been wired to keep themselves safe and not to take risks, and with re-entry anxiety, people could be anxious about commuting or returning to work or leaving their children behind.
"Yeah, making choices right now is really hard to do. I think that we're all struggling with, we're all looking for information, looking for guidance," Mandel says.
Mandel recommends that people who are coping with re-entry anxiety to research what they are anxious about, figure out what they can tolerate and then go out into the world and take it one step at a time.