Social wellbeing after lockdown
By Tania Arellano at Juno
10th Jun 2021
Social wellbeing is the part of our mental health that depends on having a community. In the UK, 48% of adults said that their wellbeing was impacted by the pandemic, leading to depression and some form of anxiety.
Lockdown and isolation harmed many aspects of our day to day, including our social life. With social gatherings forbidden for the best part of a year, we’ve become pretty good at being by ourselves. So it’s no surprise that many of us have either forgotten how to socialise or even worse, don’t really want to.
You’re not alone in this. Even if restrictions are slowly starting to ease, businesses are reopening and we’re being asked to return to the office, it doesn't mean that everyone's ready to go at the same pace.
Some may find meeting colleagues again motivating and exciting, while others might struggle with social anxiety or fear of being exposed to the virus. Either way, it’s important that we acknowledge that colleagues and friends experience the end of lockdown differently.
Whether you might be finding social life difficult these days, or know someone who is, head to our blog to find some first steps you can take towards taking care of your social wellbeing.
You’re not alone
Even when it looks like the people around you are moving onwards as if nothing’s changed, it doesn't mean that you’re the only one feeling like taking it a bit slower. The way you feel is completely normal, so it’s time to give yourself a break.
Take one step at a time
You don’t have to go from zero to a hundred in a day. Make a list of small steps you want to take this week. Try initiating a conversation via text with a friend or accepting a quick meet up in the park. Aiming to achieve small goals during the week will help you build more confidence each day.
Life is not a performance
Avoid thinking that meeting up with people is a performance that you will be rated on. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, be kind and authentic. People who want to meet you appreciate you just the way you are.
Don’t guess, ask
Asking your friends and colleagues how they’re experiencing the new normal is a great way to visualise yourself going to the office or to a social event. Imagining worst-case scenarios won’t be helpful and will just set you back.
Be proud of yourself
It’s easier to put ourselves down than celebrating our small victories. Don’t forget to tick off your achievements from your goals list and feel proud of the progress you’ve made.