Due to the global pandemic, many people spent much of 2020 and the early parts of 2021 in isolation. They saw only a few individuals, and even when they did, they kept six feet between them. For those who have social anxiety, this was both helpful and harmful. It was helpful in that they did not have to worry about facing down panic attacks from being in large crowds.
However, this forced isolation may have set back some of the progress they made. If you suffer from social anxiety and find that you are having a flare-up now that lockdown is mostly over, here are a few tips for getting back out there.
You do not have to leave your home and immediately go to a crowded concern or even a shopping mall. Instead, take it slow. Go walk around the block. Go to a small grocery store to shop. Visit a few friends. Take your time to get re-acclimated to being out around people. Incorporate things that help you reduce stress into your daily plan, such as reading or meditating.
Go Out Every Day
Even if all you do is walk down the street and back or go to the post office, make it a point to get out every day. You do not have to spend a lot of time being out or doing anything significant; just leave your home for a short time. You want to reach the point where leaving your house feels normal and a part of your daily routine, not something that is a rare occurrence.
Determine Your Limits
Keep track of how long you are out and how many places you go. This will help you determine what your limits are. If you discover that you are okay going to two different stores but start to feel some anxiety in the third, you know two is the limit. Maybe certain places are a little too much for you right now. If you understand what you are comfortable with and what is too much, you can make a plan each day.