ReboundManaging the Pressure

Actions

How to manage anxiety as restrictions are lifted, take your time

Posted at 3:31 PM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-14 19:07:44-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — While it's exciting the restrictions put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 are being lifted, it can also be nerve-wracking for some people.

You may be experiencing a lot of emotions as the world starts to open back up. A Clinical Psychologist and assistant professor, Shannon Sauer-Zavala, says it's normal to feel excited and anxious at the same time.

"In fact, those experiences feel really similar in the body. Like a racing heart, anticipatory sweating, those are sometimes indistinguishable when we are thinking about excitement and anxiety," she said.

Sauer-Zavala continues that if you are feeling anxious about getting into the world, you should start to question your thoughts in a constructive way.

"When you are asking yourself, 'Am I going to get sick if I take my mask off?' Well, what is the evidence for that? Right, can you question that belief a little? Really try to bring your thoughts and behavior in line with what the science says."

The psychologist emphasizes that the most harmful thing you can do for your mental health is withdraw.

"The only thing that does is confirm the belief that that situation was dangerous, whether you were going to appear foolish or that you might get sick. It just reinforces that belief. So, I really encourage people to encroach their anxiety."

And to do that, take baby steps if necessary when it comes to being social.