Isolation Diaries: Ep. 2 – Anxiety

Hey Everyone πŸ’

What a hell of a week it has been !! I finally feel as though I am starting to fall back into the swing of things work wise. Recently, I have been powering through my to-do lists and feel on top of my game again for the first time in what feels like forever πŸ˜‡

Alongside working around the clock I have been venturing back into society more. Being truthful, I am really struggling with reintroducing myself to it again. I think the root of this comes from the transition from Ireland back to the UK. In Ireland, I feel that the community took the virus a lot more seriously than people over here and in some ways that made me safer. For some perspective, the only time I left my house was to go and get food shopping. When I returned to the UK I was shocked at how a lot of people acted as if the virus wasn’t even a thing. I felt a bit like the ‘ugly duckling’ walking around everywhere with my mask on and hand sanitiser close at hand. However, I never really let the glaring glances and dagger stares bother me as I felt I was doing my bit to not only protect myself but others. I do think that we shouldn’t judge people for doing or not doing certain things as everyone is dealing with their own troubles and challenges and doing the best that they can in the circumstances.

With all this in mind, I felt the whole process of reintroduction extremely overwhelming and confusing but necessary. I feel that it is necessary for our immune systems to start slowing interacting with the outside world on a small scale. Previous to the virus I never really suffered with anxiety of any kind. I was quite lucky in that sense. However, during and after isolation I definitely think that I now suffer with mild anxiety brought on from the global pandemic. I say this because every time I’m around someone it triggers a mini anxiety attack and I find myself feeling breathless and sweaty. I think by nature I am quite a cautious person so I get really upset and annoyed when people don’t keep their distance or brush past me (even by accident) 😰. But this is all a learning curve and I understand that it will take time (and a lot of it ) to become comfortable with interacting with people again.

I hope that I’m not the only one that’s finding the adjustment hard lol – maybe I am just a bit of a germ freak. But in case any of you are feeling the same way, here are some things that helped make the transition a little easier and helped ease my little bout of anxiety …

  1. Carry around a small bottle of water with you so that when you feel anxious you can use the time it takes to take a sip to subconsciously control your breathing.

2. Take baby steps. Bear in mind that the majority of us have been isolating for weeks on end and so it’s completely normal to feel anxious about going back to reality. I started by going to get a coffee and slowly eased myself in. Even now, I still don’t feel comfortable going into shops however, I know that this will come in time.

3. Do what makes you comfortable – if you want to wear a visor, gloves and two masks, you do just that. Although everyone around you may look as though they are not phased by the virus the reality is they probably are but might be too scared to talk openly about it. So you do you and don’t let anyone try to talk you out of it.

4. Don’t force yourself – if you’re not ready you’re not ready and that is equally okay. Not everyone will be ready yet to re-enter society but that is the beauty of humanity. Don’t feel rushed or uneasy. You take as long as you need, this isn’t a race.

I know this is still a scary time for us all so just remember to be extra kind to people and try to have a little bit more understanding and perspective. Everyone is dealing with their own little demons and trust that that random act of kindness will go a long way.

Give your family a hug from me and tell them how much they’re loved.

Love,

Evangeline.

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