How Are We Ever Going To Feel Safe Leaving Our Homes?
This past year has been a wild ride for all of us, and it is not over yet. Dealing with a worldwide pandemic is unlike anything most of us can ever remember, in terms of its impact on every phase of our lives. We haven’t been able to carry on with our daily lives in anything resembling normal for well over a year. During that year, we have been bombarded with horrific scenes of people dying alone as exhausted healthcare workers were completely overwhelmed. Some of us lost loved ones to this disease and had to mourn them without the traditional rites of grieving and funerals. We have been confused and frustrated by the bewildering, often-contradictory information put forth by public figures. We all had to learn how to best keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. Hunkering down and staying away from other people was the safest thing to do.
Now, with the vaccine becoming more and more available, and more of us getting vaccinated, there is hope. Some of us are feeling cautiously optimistic for the first time in over a year. Schools are carefully allowing some types of in-person learning, which allows parents to consider leaving the home. Companies are opening their doors to reduced-capacity workforces, still depending on most employees to work remotely.
So, it is no surprise that many people report feeling varying degrees of anxiety about reentering society. Here are some ways to cope with the anxiety and get yourself back out there, safe and happy.
RECOGNIZE AND VERBALIZE YOUR ANXIETY
First of all, admit what you’re feeling—denying those very real, rational feelings will only lead to greater anxiety. Try writing in a journal or confide in a trusted friend. Getting the feelings out in the light of day is crucial to dealing with them intentionally. I am really helped by some of the great writing there is on the web—seeing a similar experience to my own expressed in beautiful prose makes me feel supported and less alone. Of course, if you just can’t get past the anxiety, please reach out to your therapist (ask your doctor for a referral) or search online (there are some amazing virtual tools these days!) Over the years, I have had great success with different therapists and healers. Before COVID, I discovered tapping and it is an amazing tool. Amy Vincze is a local tapping practitioner – I highly recommend booking a session with her!
DO YOUR RESEARCH
It is especially important to seek out reliable, unbiased, science-based information right now. Try not to listen to your online friend’s conspiracy theories right now, and don’t spend too much time with people who are stressed and anxious. Ask your doctor for their opinion on what is safe for you to do. Here in my neighborhood, we have great county health departments who are posting daily updates and longer articles on COVID concerns. Seek out those resources in your community that you can trust.
While doing the research for this blog, I came across some heartening information about what major corporations are doing to prepare for their employees’ return. It was so good to see how much time and effort employers were devoting to not only making physical workplaces safe for their employees but also focusing on the mental health and well-being of their employees. One of the key aspects of a good employer? Regular and transparent communication about what is being done. If your employer isn’t letting you know what is being done, reach out and ask! (or Google them!)
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
I recently “attended” a virtual event (EBWC 2021 by the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau) where the main speaker was Dr. Jennifer Ashton, (M.D, M.S., F.A.C.O.G., Ob-Gyn, ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent). Her speech was titled “Find Courage, Comfort and Community When Facing Unexpected Challenges”. Perfect timing, right? One thing resonated quite strongly for me. Dr. Ashton said it is important to be in your best possible physical and EMOTIONAL shape to handle the inevitable stressors of life. Over my life, I have heard similar advice but I hadn’t heard it quite so eloquently combine the physical AND emotional before.
There are some simple things to keep in mind to keep yourself in the best shape possible:
1. Eat healthy, regular meals.
2. Get enough sleep.
3. Get regular exercise.
4. Relax and recharge with loved ones.
So, as you prepare to reenter society, just be kind to yourself first and foremost. Try meeting a close friend for a socially-distanced walk as a baby step, so you can get exercise and fulfill your need for social connection. Humans are social animals and we do best when we can exist in community with one another. While it has been the right thing to do to shelter-in-place while the pandemic was raging, isolation is bad for us in the long run. Nothing is 100% safe but with caution, you can feel assured you are making a return to society as safe as possible.
At Office Evolution Walnut Creek, we provide virtual office, coworking, and private office solutions at our shared office center. We offer meeting rooms, offices for rent, hot desking in a shared workspace coworking lounge, a shared reception, a business address, and virtual receptionist services. We have many options and price points, and all terms are flexible. Plus, you become part of a community of like-minded professionals.
Whether you live in Walnut Creek, Alamo, Danville, Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Concord, and other communities nearby in Contra Costa County, choosing Office Evolution Walnut Creek will help you be more professional, productive, and profitable.