By Marilena Kagkaraki,
It has been a year and a half since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 a pandemic and the whole world went into lockdown. Now, after so many months with the hope that the worst is behind us, the world reopens. It seems that life is going slowly back to normal. Friends can now meet up, bars and restaurants are open, the weather is better as summer is here. Everyone seems to be needing to socialize and to go outside.
However, at first, this change may seem strange. I have had the moment of; “Wait, I have not seen so many people in one place for so long”. It is a weird moment because, on the one hand, it is a bit scary to see a place packed when you have avoided crowds for such a long time. On the other hand, it is quite reviving to see life back on its track and people hanging out and being together again. Apart from socializing and going out with friends, jobs are even now requiring more and more our physical presence. It seems as if everything is something new, that we have not experienced before.
Life now requires a lot of outgoing activities that seem alien compared to how we have been used to. People seem to adapt to every situation and even the most extroverted people managed to adapt to home life, staying inside, spending time with themselves. And so now life requires again from all of us, to re-adapt and go back to being busy and having to be out, meeting more people and going to events. This new life adjustment is very normal to cause a lot of us to be anxious and feel out of place. It is a lot of pressure after spending lots of time which did not require of us a lot of energy, physically, to now feel tired and even drained after a day out filled with errands and activities.
It is totally normal to feel like you even have to learn how to do life again and how to interact with all kinds of people. The previous period got us to talk a lot with mostly our closest people that know us really well. Another adaptation that is now required is social. Now, you have to interact daily with customers, distant relatives, friends you have not seen in months and even meet new people. It is all these new situations that now seem like a challenge and another struggle to conquer. Life sometimes throws all kinds of difficulties to us, maybe to tell us something. But, even if that is not the case, in the end, it is unavoidable that we have learned and gained something even from the most difficult experiences.
After all these challenges, it is crucial to look back and see what we have gained. Maybe it is more time with people we love, maybe more self-awareness, or maybe even a new skill. Reflection is a really nice thing to do once in a while, whenever changes happen. See what you have gained from previous experiences, outcomes, a kind of review of the previous period, and then proceed to new changes and adapt to new situations and life occurrences.
Evaluation will lead to a better understanding of where you are in life right now, who you are right now, and where you want to be headed in the near future. All in all, it is totally expected to feel out of place as life resumes, it is again a new situation that we need to adapt, as life has been different for so long. So, feeling lost and confused is really the case for most people. Talking about these feelings and reflecting with friends and in general, with people, will help you process just a little bit easier, re-tracking your life. So, as life starts to resume and changes again, feeling anxious is really normal and it helps if we take a step back to see how we made it through it.