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Are you ready to start living your life again?

If you have raised your hand, you are not alone. Would you be surprised that many people feel a cold-sweat build-up at the very thought of going back to "normal"? They have spent over a year being cooped up by themselves or with family members and may feel that their social skills have taken a hit. Recently, a hilarious skit on "Saturday Night Live" touched on this topic, and I must say I laughed my head off! However, in real life, it may not be a laughing matter. There are indications that some individuals may be suffering from a form of post-traumatic stress disorder and their fears are not regarding saying or doing the wrong thing. They may feel anxiety over the unknown and believe that things will never go back to the way it was pre-COVID.

Although everyone on the planet was affected by the pandemic, each person had personal experiences that they dealt with it in their way. Returning to normalcy will follow that same route. One size does not fit all, and not every coping mechanism will work for everyone. If someone is very introverted and private, they may not have discussed their feelings, letting them bottle up inside. If this sounds familiar, try writing down your feelings or worries as an outlet for your stress. This was just one suggestion from an article I ran across in The Lily. Another tip is to take small steps towards a more normal routine. Just taking a walk has been shown to relieve tension and bring more of a sense of calm. Try to incorporate daily walking during your favorite part of the day. Make plans to meet up with friends after you all have been vaccinated. The CDC has recently recommended that fully vaccinated people can once again socialize with other people. Interacting with loved ones can be a great support system. If you are hesitant to get vaccinated, do some research before making a final decision. Check out articles on the subject put out by the CDC and Mayo Clinic. The decision is ultimately your own but make it an informed one. In any case, I strongly suggest sticking with social distancing and continuing to wear a mask until more of the population does get the vaccine. Why may you ask? Because if there are still enough hosts available (meaning the unvaccinated), it is more likely for variants to occur. An increase in mutations might decrease the current vaccine's effectiveness, which could bring us back to square one. Are you ready to return to March 2020, because I'm sure not? So please keep wearing your mask, so this can finally end.

I hope the above tips prove helpful. If not, it is essential to remember if you need more help getting past your anxiety issues, it is normal, and there is no reason to be ashamed. There are more online sources than ever before. Reach out and talk to an expert so you can move on. Before you know it, this will be past us, and we will remember it like a hellish nightmare that eventually begins to fade as the light awakens us back to reality.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with friends. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or suggestions. I would appreciate the feedback. If you would like to suggest topics for future posts, I am all ears.

Until then, be resolved!

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