Live Better. Love Better. Work Better.

Venturing Out: How Do I Adjust to Post-COVID Life?

Over a year ago, we were all hunkered down amidst quarantine, hoping and dreaming for the day that things start to feel normal again. We deeply missed and longed for all of the experiences in life that we find valuable – an amazing meal at a restaurant, travel, walking into a grocery store without a mask. We all thought how happy we’d be to hug people and jump back into our old routines. We thought the “taste of freedom would be so sweet”, yet here we are, on the “cusp of a fully opened society with ballgames in full swing, concerts making a comeback and masks no longer required in most places for people who are vaccinated.” If you are feeling somewhat hesitant at the thought of those things you yearned so deeply for, you are not alone! 

Personally, I have seen this a lot with my clients, and people are naturally out of the routine of being social and something that used to come to us naturally is causing anxiety and nerves. Some people dive full speed into life again, others struggle with everything from the spectrum of running into a stranger on the street to hopping on an airplane. 

Why do we feel this way? 

How did we get here and what caused us to become so anxious about something that used to be so “normal?” There is much more to it than falling out of routine and habit, although that is a small part of it. According to Beth Litchfield, LCSW (a social worker in Massachusetts who specializes in helping people to cope with everyday life) “we are all just more aware of how vulnerable we are now. We became conditioned through this time to see our vulnerability in a way we may never have before.” 

Many of the feelings people have been experiencing are based in fear, although it might not be recognized as this – fear can be quite elusive. After all, fear has been a constant commodity since the pandemic originally hit us. With being exposed to more and new information, people’s perspectives and views have been altered. It’s completely “normal” to feel discombobulated in a place or situation that might have been routine a year ago. Things like noises and crowds can easily overwhelm us and surprise us, but the long duration of the pandemic has caused us to adapt to a new lifestyle that’s impeccably different from beforehand. 

What do I do? 

It’s crucial to figure out a plan that works for you best, because it will vary and look different from person to person. It might be a good idea to begin with slowly re-immersing yourself back into things you used to enjoy. Too much of anything at once is never a good thing. Also, you might have decided that you want to leave some things behind entirely – and that’s okay! Most importantly, the feelings you have about it need to be acknowledged, and not judging yourself for it is important. Additionally, given that all people have such different needs and feelings about the pandemic, you should not judge others that might make drastically different decisions from you. Right now, we are all “baby chicks breaking out of shells.” The process is exhausting and might have some sharp edges to it, but once we are out and into the world, and able to establish new routines, restoring hope and room for change, things will begin to equilibrate again. 

Reference: McCarthy, M. (2021). Venturing out again? How to adjust to a post-covid life. Healthline. Retrieved from:

Symmetry Counseling Recent News Image 4
Recent Posts

When to Go to Couples Therapy? When You Notice These 3 Sign

Apr 30, 2024

Zoe Mittman, LSW If you’re asking the question “when to go to couples therapy”, you are in the right place. I am going to spend some time talking about 3 signs couples therapy may be a good fit for you.…

Read More

Healing the Heart – Tips for How to Get Over a Breakup

Apr 23, 2024

Breakups can be extremely difficult for both the heart and the mind. Grieving the loss of a relationship is taxing both mentally and emotionally. Whether you initiated the breakup or are the individual being broken up with, the pain and…

Read More

Surviving the Holidays: 5 Tips for Managing Holiday Stress

Apr 16, 2024

Paula Gonzalez MA, LPC, ADHD-CCSP, CIMHP                                                                                         The Christmas holiday season can be filled with “tidings of comfort and joy!.” It can also be filled with lots of invitations to holiday parties that will have you “rockin’ around the Christmas tree…

Read More