How to Navigate Post-Lockdown Social Anxiety

How to Navigate Post-Lockdown Social Anxiety

As exciting as it may be, the easing of restrictions could leave some of us feeling overwhelmed by life going back to some normality. If you are feeling daunted by the idea of going back to social situations regardless of whether you already had social anxiety or developed it as a result of lockdown, you are not alone. Here are some tips for managing social anxiety after lockdown:

Say no to the things that you are not comfortable with.

Many of us hesitate to say no to uncomfortable things in fear of conflict or alienation from the group. However, at the end of the day, it is important to prioritize yourself and your needs and make better decisions for you. If you do not feel comfortable with a particular activity or request, say no. Don't let other people's expectations and opinions make you feel bad for valuing your time, energy and mental health. 


Go at your own pace!

Just because other people may adjust back to their pre-covid life fast doesn't mean you should too. Take all the time you need, go at your own pace and start slow. For example, make plans with family members and friends that you are close with instead of going to events with many people attending. Make short and simple plans such as grabbing coffee or walking rather than plans that may take hours. With that being said, keep in mind that it is okay to struggle or feel overwhelmed with social activities that you used to do. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to move at your own pace.


Move your body to release the Norepinephrine.

Research has shown that social anxiety occurs due to the hyperactivity of a region of the brain called the amygdala, which regulates fight-or-flight responses. As a result, norepinephrine builds up in the body, leading to symptoms associated with anxiety such as fast heartbeat, sweaty palms, and shortness of breath. The good news is that you can release this excess norepinephrine by physically moving! Dancing, working out, going for a walk and running are some of the examples by which you can remove the built-up noradrenaline!


Ask for help!

Reach out to family and friends you feel comfortable with, and you can trust. Let them know how you're feeling and how they can support you. This may ultimately help you connect with your friends and family and cope better with challenges caused by social anxiety. You can always reach out for professional help or use the resources available online! 

Here are some resources you can reach out to: 

To learn more about post-lockdown social anxiety you can watch the video below:

Coronavirus anxiety: How to cope post lockdown | ITV News