There are a few phrases that have stuck over 2020 and into 2021… ‘the new normal’, ‘unprecedented time’ being just two of them. But what does our ‘new normal’ in this ‘unprecedented time’ really look like? Does it mean we all must get used to being 2ft away from other people or that Zooms are going to be our go-to method of communication?
In whatever way you look at it, our social skills have dipped below zero and, as much as we’re looking forward to it, we’re starting to feel the anxiety of interacting face-to-face and in large groups again. Something we perhaps wouldn’t have thought twice about before March 2020.
So how do we prepare ourselves for June (ish) time when we’re supposed to throw ourselves back into the world like nothing’s happened? Here are five ways you can rebuild your confidence and give yourself a fighting chance at dealing with the undue stress and anxiety that may be heading our way when lockdown ends…
1. Meet a friend in an open space
From 8 March, when children went back to school, people were allowed to sit down for a coffee, drink or a picnic in an outside place with one person from another household. Then on 29 March, this will change again if conditions are met. The plan is to allow up to six people or two households to meet outdoors. This will include gatherings in private gardens as well. If you’re feeling ready to, meeting a trusted friend outside for a coffee is a really good way to start to build up your social skills again. When you do meet them, communicate any anxiety you have, I’m sure they will be feeling it, too. A problem shared is a problem halved.
2. Don’t make too many changes too quickly
It doesn’t matter if your Instagram is full of laughing people having social gatherings in the park, looking like they have it all. If you’re not ready, you’re not ready. Go at your own pace, take it as slow as you need to. Hey, if you don’t want to socialise until the end of the year, so be it. Don’t feel under any pressure to do so. If you hear that little voice that tells you ‘you should’ then push it away. You ‘should’ is not helpful language, it’s the pushy Aunt at the Christmas table, and who invited her, anyway?
3. Invest in your mental health
This is something it’s good to do at all times, now especially. Take this in whatever way you like. Even if investing in your mental health means you take a 20-minute bath with a book then go for it. Take a look at some Mindfulness Apps like Headspace and Omvana, they have a host of free, easy-to-follow guided meditations on there to help you regain that Zen and feel Omhazing.
4. Take a class and meet a new social group in a safe environment
Stage & the City have a plethora of fun, sociable and safe courses for adults from April. They will be following strict social distancing guidelines so you can be challenging yourself, boosting confidence and learning new skills whilst you’re reassured it’s safe. Take a look at their dance, musical theatre and acting courses. This one in particular is catered to those looking to boost self-esteem: https://www.afperformingarts.com/stage-and-the-city/classes/acting-for-confidence-mondays
5. Take time
Take all the time you need. Just because dates are being flung at you it doesn’t mean you need to be out and actively socialising from the second we’re told to do so. If you want to ease into being back in public you could go to a gallery by yourself or take a walk in a more crowded place. But seriously, you’ll find me taking safe courses, meeting new people then at home with my feet up. You do what you need to do. It’s time to be selfish.
Good luck to everyone, we’re always on-hand if you want to discuss any concerns or just have a chat about which courses may be right for you. Drop us an email or contact us here: https://www.afperformingarts.com/stage-and-the-city/contact