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Post covid-anxiety


kim42
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Hey everyone, I don’t know if someone can relate to this, I don’t feel like myself lately, and I realized some social situations that I used to enjoy before covid are now stressful for me.

Last night I went out with my friends, just a small group of girls, we went to this nice bar, I was looking forward to it, I did my makeup, put on a nice dress but in reality, I wasn’t really having fun. I felt uneasy the entire time, I just couldn’t relax and be myself, I felt like everyone else was funnier than me, I felt boring and unattractive. I used to like going out, laughing and being care-free, and I just could not do it last night. I felt stressed out as if I wasn’t doing enough – I wasn’t outgoing enough.

I think this is just all in my head, I was talking to my friends and new people too, I never had these thoughts before, I don’t why I am overthinking this so much. I just want to be able to go out, have fun without feeling inadequate.  

I think it might be like this because I’ve been working from home for along time now, and subconsciously I am afraid I’m losing my social skills. I try to go out and do many activities on weekends, I just don’t know why going out has become so stressful for me.

I’m not sure if the above makes any sense, I hope someone can understand, please tell me I’m not alone feeling like a weirdo in social situations.

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Was this your first time out in awhile with covid restrictions/lockdowns? How well do you know this group of women? 

They may be a bit too rambunctious or loud for your tastes or just not your crowd. That is fine. Give it a couple more outtings and see how you get on with them. If it's not your thing, mingle with other groups. Bars are loud places and you have to shout to be heard sometimes. I really have to be in the mood for that.

 

 

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Hi Rose, no, it wasn't my first time out, I've been going out more lately, it's a conscious decision as I was feeling very isolated because of the home office thing. I only knew one girl from the group, but they were all nice, I don't know why I felt so out of place. Maybe I'm putting too much pressure on myself.

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It's good that you're taking time to go out and spend time with people in person if the isolation of working from home was starting to get to you. I can't get enough time alone so I haven't had this problem but understand it's difficult meeting people. If they're a nice group of women, give it another try if you feel comfortable and don't put so much pressure on yourself to behave a certain way. 

Sometimes you know when you have different thoughts/values and just don't share similar humour. It's completely ok not having to be the life of the party either. It's not a competition. And it is ok to think differently. Perhaps they don't inspire you to say much. That happens. I'm sure with more familiarity you'll feel more comfortable if you continue hanging out with them.

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I am a very sociable person and yet I feel like you do.  I've been home too much for the last 1.5 yrs and I do like being home, I have a lovely acreage, but I dont think it's been overall healthy for me to be home so much.

I have to push myself to go out, and grocery shopping is about the only thing I do.  I live in a rural area and there really isn't a lot to do at the best of times and covid has made it worse.

Yesterday we went to costco, something I normally like to do, and it was a bit of a push for me to go there.  I had been a few times in the recent past but not much.  Once I got in there I was ok, but it's that initial thought of going out with the 3 dimensional people I have trouble with!  I need to push past this.

I think you are perfectly normal and you are probably going to have to push yourself too, to get back to where you were before.  I think the fear of covid remains in our brains despite vaccinations, I know it does for me.

We have a trip planned to Mexico in Feb. 2022 and I need to work on myself so that I can do this and be comfortable.

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I felt the same way when I first starting going out.  I felt very rusty and made a joke one evening with someone girlfriends that I was afraid that I had lost some social skills somewhere along the way.

Funny thing - the following night there was a parody skit on Saturday Night Live about the exact same thing.   A dinner party with about a dozen people struggling to connect with each other after being isolated for so long.  You might find it on You tube.  It got a lot of attention.   It was pretty funny and I am able to see the humor in it now. 

Like others previously said, you aren't alone in this.

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Yup, you're not alone.. in this challenging (more) world 😕 .

We all got hit with many extremes and had to learn to cope & change our ways.

I do minimal (necessary) outside my home. Up until the last month, we only visited the parents outdoors.  I still only meet one friend 'in their home'.  I have limited myself a lot.

Although, I am pretty much an introvert, so not all affected me, as staying home more, didn't change much, lol.

But, I know it has affected a lot of people 😕 .

As mentioned, don't feel YOU need to be the life of the party.. Life experiences change us.  Just take a deep breath and say I can do this.. Smile and try to enjoy a little 😉 . It is probably similar for quite a few nowadays.. Give it some time.

 

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I too think it's normal.  I haven't really socialized yet -met a friend with her son and mine for a playdate a few months ago -was nice!  - and we went to a resort in July for a business conference -I mingled some and it felt fine - but I really have no interest in going to a loud crowded place -our infection rate remains high.  But I think yes it's normal and I'm sorry you felt uncomfortable!

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You're not alone. To be honest, a lot of things that we didn't struggle with before seem to take more of an effort nowadays. The situation we're living in has taken a toll on our mental health and overall well-being and I feel we're more easily susceptible than before.

For example: We see some people living an 'amazing' life online or during that split-second on the street. In reality, who knows what's really going on behind the scenes. But the sheer act of witnessing a model-like person having a grant time somewhere fantastic makes us question ourselves, just like you said, that maybe we're not doing enough. You know what? Maybe some are truly living this grandiose life, but often times this picture-perfect glimpse we get of someone else is akin to a beautiful book cover; where once you peek inside, you realize that cover was a total deception.

You keep doing you. You're certainly not boring and, whilst I haven't seen a picture of you, I'm betting that you aren't unattractive either.

🙂

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On 9/25/2021 at 2:48 PM, kim42 said:

Maybe I'm putting too much pressure on myself.

Good observation. I think you're right.

Even during GOOD times it's natural to feel a bit out of one's element when surrounded by strangers who are all connected to one another with shared history and inside jokes.

One of the most helpful things I've learned to relieve 'spotlight' pressure from myself, even with close friends and family, was my decision to make every outing about them-not-ME.

This not only relaxes me, but it moves me out of my own way.

I understand that this can sound counter-intuitive and passive, but the opposite is true. Active listening is a skill, and while it may not impress people with all kinds of fabulous information about you, it impresses them with how they FEEL being heard and valued by you.

That's the stuff that will, ultimately, help you to feel valued as well. People will be receptive to what you have to say whenever you DO want to speak of yourself, because you've set a precedent for the kind of intimacy that has no need to compete to be heard.

Head high, you are not alone.

 

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