5 Ways to Navigate Post-Pandemic Stress

By Sarini Ettigi, Ph.D.

Dealing with the day to day routine of clocking in and clocking out, followed by juggling family commitments during seemingly normal times can be stressful and exhausting. Living through a pandemic and trying to maintain a sense of “normal” may seem as arduous as scaling a steep mountain with treacherous obstacles along the way.

For some it may seem we’ve come so far with Covid vaccinations in place and businesses reopening, while for some others it may still feel stifling and unnerving re-entering once trusted venues of social interaction. Wherever you fall on this spectrum of “post pandemic” transition, here are 5 helpful tips to use in hopes to create or re-create your “new normal”:

  1. Maintain connections with family and friends: Although you, your family members, and friends may not be ready to meet in a group gathering, it’s worth reaching out via phone or email during times of such limited social opportunities. Even venturing to write a snail mail letter to a loved one may fill the void of you not physically being there. Reaching out to family members during a period of forced isolation will keep you in the loop of family issues, but also show you care about the welfare of your family and friends even though you may not be able to visit them in person. 
  2. Join common interest social media groups: You are far from alone in post-pandemic life stress and adjustment. Talking to, and meeting new, individuals though social media groups who also struggle with similar issues such as pet care, music, kids, parenting, etc., can be beneficial. It may be just the added support needed to encourage you or even inspire creative ways to become involved socially and otherwise while promoting a sense of belonging and togetherness. 
  3. Set aside 10 minutes a day (or more) for your own quiet time: This may be the most important of the lot. Taking out the time for yourself, even a few minutes a day, will allow a moment for self-reflection and rejuvenate your inner being to handle the post-pandemic issues that arise. Focusing on the present moment is crucial during this “me” time, and not dwelling on past “should, could, would haves”, or future “need to, have to, want to’s”. 
  4. Continue to take precautions as you were: While we do have a vaccine available and most have opted to receive it, washing your hands and wearing a mask are both strongly still warranted. Even prior to pandemic issues, washing hands has been a long-time recommendation, and has been emphasized now more than ever, in preventing illness. Wearing masks, while most places have relaxed the requirement, would only be in yours and your families’ best interest until the pandemic truly is under control. 
  5. Remember everything is temporary: Just like any crisis…this too shall pass. Keeping this age old saying in mind during this phase of our lives is integral in gaining a sense of calm and peace for some. Covid is having it’s debut with humanity as we know it, and we are witnessing what will one day be part of history books. While it may feel stressful to experience now, remember that 10 years from now this time period for us will be simply a memory. As humans, we will forge a way forward and will adapt. Recognizing that humanity has overcome many seemingly insurmountable obstacles may bring some certainty and clarity to these uncertain of times. Remember, no natural disaster ever lasts forever, while it may make lasting and painful damage in the moment while it has touched land, it always makes way for brighter and clearer skies, and sometimes even a rainbow. 

While the above suggestions may help relieve some stress and immediate frustration due to post pandemic issues, they are not exhaustive and are meant to be viewed as a starting place for your journey forward. If you struggle with long standing anxiety or depression issues and require further assistance in navigating post-pandemic stress, please consider reaching out to a licensed professional. Breyta’s Licensed Psychologists are well equipped with tools and interventions to help you navigate your post-pandemic journey. Reach out to us when you are ready to schedule your free consultation.