Social Distancing causing social anxiety: How the coronavirus has affected how we deal and react in public and what we can do mitigate new found stresses.
Most of us have been quarantined longer than we can remember. We’ve lost count, only to be left with a rough outline of a timeline to reference. There have been so many contradictions spread across multiple media outlets which range from conspiracy theories, how coronavirus is spread, how long people are going to be stuck in the house, infected, non- infected, death—I mean, it’s enough to work up anxiety in the best of us. So much, that many of us feel very uneasy when we actually do go outside.
A fast track of thoughts implode in our minds as we worry simultaneity about cross contamination, invisible virus strains in the air, and my personal favorite, if you can find tissue paper. Luckily, companies like CBDfx are standing strong on sending out products at lightning speed—I guess they know we really need it right now.
Sure, we can take a dose of CBD to calm the nerves and help us get through the news updates, but let’s take a look at some of the signs of social anxiety some of us might be developing from the thought of having to go outside. So, what is social anxiety? I know we’ve all heard of it, but if you’ve never been affected by it, you probably don’t know much about it. According to Medical News Today, the behavioral and emotional signs and symptoms include:
- avoiding situations where the individual feels they may be the center or focus of attention
- fear of being in situations with strangers
- dread concerning how they will be presented to others
- excessive fear of embarrassment and humiliation, being teased and criticized, or other people noticing that a person with social anxiety disorder looks anxious
- a fear of being anxious that makes the anxiety worse
- fear of meeting people in authority
- severe anxiety or panic attacks when experiencing the feared situation
- refraining from certain activities or talking to people because of a fear of embarrassment
- a blank mind in social situations that cause anxiety
Sure, we can look at all of these bullet points and relate them to our current situation in some way, but let’s look at the main symptoms and see what we can do to get around anxieties associated with them.
Fear Of Being Around Strangers
One aspect of social anxiety that people are familiar with is the fear of being around others. Sure, we’re around strangers everyday, but this aspect of life has been intensified over the last 5 weeks. We all know very well this is the main concern that brought forth social distancing orders. People are terrified of being in close contact with others in fear of contracting the virus. You have a couple options, you can tackle your anxieties, mask up, and make your weekly grocery run, or you can order delivery and seal with it that way.
Severe Anxiety In Tense Situations
Tense situations are popping up all over the place since millions of lives have been uninterrupted and altered. You’ve got parents trying to work from home and homeschooled children at the same time, not to mention, the added stressors being relayed from the news outlets.
Some people are blessed to still be able to work, but what about those who have no job, no income? Stimulus checks are reportedly being delayed because President Trump wanted to be the first president to put his name on the actual checks and millions of people are in line for unemployment benefits. This is a tense situation that can bring forth many anxiety symptoms.
A Blank Mind In Social Situations That Cause Anxiety
Have you ever been out with your mask and your gloves on in the middle of the grocery store and just draw a blank? Social anxiety can cause you to lose your train of thought amidst the crowd. There are so many factors to keep in mind while venturing out during a pandemic so don’t be too hard on yourself….we’re all getting through this together.
What Can You Do?
Socialize, but Virtually
Zoom use has skyrocketed for good reasons. You’re able to talk with up to 100 people! So, plan a party with your loved ones and stay in touch to the best of your ability, because the more you become more introverted and isolated, the harder it will be to integrate yourself into your old routine.
Relax and Release
This can be anything that you do to find your center and your focus. Maybe you’ve never even thought about it, and that’s ok. You can do some deep breathing techniques, implement some yoga, or even throw down in the kitchen if that’s how you relax. We all have our own personal ways to find therapeutic releases for ourselves.
With everything that is transpiring across the world, if you are healthy and surrounded by your loved ones, take note of that and thank the higher powers above. Some people aren’t that lucky and are having to make difficult decisions under the most stressful circumstances. Just remember that you’re ok in this moment and were making our way through this together!