At long last, lockdown is ending! Our restrictions are lifting, and things are changing. So why do I still feel so weird?
I have experienced so many different moods throughout lockdown: the initial shock, the creeping depression, the introduction of new routines and gradual acceptance, and the occasional periods of helplessness. I knew coming back to “reality” would be an adjustment, but I didn’t expect it to feel just as complicated as the other parts!
I know myself, and I know change is always difficult for me – even when the change is positive. While I’ve missed working in the office (the social contact, the separation of work and home) I’ve also grown accustomed to my own little bubble. As a classic introvert, I’m still getting used to having multiple people chattering around me as I try to focus and get tasks done. I need to relearn my small talk skills and the natural flow of conversation unburdened by internet connection issues. I’ve been taking more breaks and planning intentional down time to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Getting my social life back also feels hard. I’ve barely seen anyone but my partner in over 100 days, so you would think I’d be racing out to see anyone I could. However, the possibility of covid transmission still looms in the back of my mind, so I’ve been sticking to the essentials only: my immediate family and one friend. Maintaining friendships has never been one of my best skills, and having not seen some friends for over two years now, I know it will take some practice to feel natural reaching out again.
I don’t have any answers to this situation, other than to say that if you aren’t rushing out to eat in restaurants, shop in crowded malls, or sweat amongst your peers at the gym, you’re not alone.
There’s no need to get back to “normal” any quicker than feels comfortable for you. Sure, some people might not understand your hesitation, but at the end of the day, you only have to answer to yourself.