Following two years where the COVID-19 pandemic shook the world, many are now getting accustomed to a closer sense of normality once more. During the worst phases of the pandemic, people were constantly being encouraged to avoid crowds, maintain social distancing, wear masks and wash hands regularly.
As borders re-opened and most of the restrictions related to the pandemic have been lifted, people are reverting to their usual routines and activities. Although many have settled in quite nicely back into their routines, there does exist an element of anxiety, especially as COVID-19 cases continue to be registered, and at times with larger numbers.
Although travelling has picked up again, some do still feel some anxiety. Some travellers have another item to go through before going abroad, and that is the anxiety prior departure. Hesitation and a certain dread have become associated with travelling especially as people fear catching COVID-19 a few days before going abroad. Some psychologists blame this on the culture shock caused by the pandemic. For some people, going back to complete normality brings about psychological challenges.
Due to the mental block holding one back, travelling has lost a bit of its allure. Just a few months ago, the main objective of people was to stay safe to avoid infection with COVID-19. When one’s goal is mainly related to staying safe, exploring other countries and different environments is one of the least things you would look for. Although most people understand that with vaccinations and weaker variants of the virus, the danger has subsided, the cautious element will still kick in following the high stress events that took place.
This anxiety related to going back to normal life can range from slight feelings of concern to panic. People who have suffered throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, due to mental illness, work-related stress and the infection itself are more likely to be impacted.
The first step to beat the anxiety caused by returning to normal is accepting it. It is also important to understand that escaping these feelings is not a permanent solution. The longer you wait to address these fears, the worse they will become. Facing these fears will slowly annihilate them. This method is known as exposure therapy.
Do you still feel anxious about travelling or being surrounded by crowds? What do you do when faced with this anxiety? Let us know in the comments section below.