Post-Covid anxiety: stepping in to our 'new normal'.

There’s been a lot of shade thrown at young people recently, as the government announced the ending of restrictions looks set to go ahead. We’ve been blamed for a variety of increases and mutations throughout the pandemic, as if we were flagrantly breaking the rules everyday. However, many of us are still understandably nervous about the easing of restrictions, and feeling guilty for being nervous - shouldn’t we be excited to continue our twenties and live this time to the fullest?!

Now that vaccinations are starting to reach the 18+ age bracket and look set to be approved for use in children, here’s some things to bear in mind as we step out into our new normal.

1. Wearing a mask might not be mandatory from the 19th, but it’s still okay to wear one!

Masks aren’t just about protecting ourselves, but about protecting others too, and given we’ve spent over a year wearing them in public, it is totally understandable that the idea of getting rid of it altogether might cause you anxiety. Ignore anyone who tells you that “you don’t need to wear it anymore” or tries to make you feel silly for wearing one - it says way more about them than you.

2. Don’t be pressured to go to crowded events and spaces!

If you’re not ready for big gatherings, that’s okay! There’s plenty of other things to do in small groups or away from the main throng of people. We might all miss going to gigs, sports events and parties, but if you’re not ready to mingle with a bunch of strangers in close quarters, invite some friends over for a movie night or a BBQ, or head out for an adventure in the fresh air nearby where there’s less people. Don’t let anyone force you into situations that make you uncomfortable.

3. Obsessively watching the news for the new infection rates is not healthy.

This pandemic has been in our lives for almost 18 months now. It’s dominated the news cycles, social media, all our conversations. People are nervous about the potential of another wave of infections, but watching out for it will cause anxiety and hold you back from enjoying what you can, while you can. As cliche as it sounds, what will be will be, and keeping an eye on the infections won’t stop them from coming. Focus on keeping yourself safe, following your personal precautions, and keeping connected with the people you love.

Final note

The only person you have any control over is yourself, so make sure you’re doing what you need to for your wellbeing. Many people are going to continue with masks, sanitiser, and distancing after the restrictions end, and we’re still being advised to use caution and common sense. Be safe, look after yourself and the people you love, and most importantly, be nice to people.

Blog post author: Caitlin Dalton

Like many twenty-somethings, Cait graduated in 2020, probably the most challenging time to ever graduate, and is about to start a MSc at distance in social policy. Based in the South West of England, Cait is passionate about writing blogs for Talk Twenties to shed light on issues faced by today's twenty-somethings and how it's normal to not have it all figured out!

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