Why You Might Be Feeling Socially Anxious Coming Out of Quarantine


The past couple of years have been challenging for many individuals, with the global pandemic forcing people into isolation and drastically altering social dynamics. As the world gradually opens up and people begin to resume normal activities, some may find themselves grappling with unexpected feelings of social anxiety.

Reasons for Increased Social Anxiety Post-Quarantine

Lack of social interactions during quarantine

During quarantine, individuals were often confined to their homes, limiting face-to-face interactions with others. This prolonged isolation could lead to feelings of loneliness and social withdrawal, making it challenging to readjust to social settings.

Fear of judgment or rejection

Extended periods of isolation may also contribute to heightened sensitivity to social judgment or rejection. People may worry about how they will be perceived by others after being away from social interactions for so long.

Changes in social norms and expectations

The pandemic has brought about significant changes in social norms, such as mask-wearing, physical distancing, and remote work. Adapting to these new norms while navigating social interactions can be overwhelming and contribute to feelings of social anxiety.


Adapting to Pandemic-Induced Social Norms and Managing Social Anxiety

Navigating Social Norms During the Pandemic: Challenges and Strategies

Symptoms of Social Anxiety

Physical symptoms

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Nausea or stomach discomfort

Emotional symptoms

  • Intense fear or worry
  • Self-consciousness
  • Negative self-talk
  • Avoidance of social situations

Behavioral symptoms

  • Difficulty speaking or maintaining eye contact
  • Avoidance of social gatherings
  • Overanalyzing social interactions
  • Seeking reassurance from others
Recognizing Behavioral Patterns: Difficulty Speaking, Avoidance, Overanalysis, and Seeking Reassurance"

Behavioral Symptoms of Social Anxiety: Understanding the Signs

Coping Strategies

Gradual exposure to social situations

Start by easing back into social activities gradually. Attend small gatherings or social events with close friends or family members to build confidence.

Mindfulness and relaxation techniques

Practice mindfulness exercises, deep breathing, or meditation to calm anxious thoughts and promote relaxation before social interactions.

Seeking support from friends, family, or professionals

Reach out to trusted individuals for support and encouragement. Consider seeking guidance from a therapist or counselor who specializes in anxiety disorders.

Building Social Confidence

Setting realistic goals

Set achievable goals for yourself in social situations. Focus on progress rather than perfection and celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small.

Positive self-talk and reframing negative thoughts

Challenge negative self-talk by replacing critical thoughts with positive affirmations. Remind yourself of your strengths and past successes.

Celebrating small victories

Acknowledge and celebrate your progress in managing social anxiety. Reward yourself for stepping out of your comfort zone and facing social challenges.

Acknowledging Personal Growth: Rewards for Facing Social Challenges and Stepping Out of Comfort Zones

“Celebrating Progress in Overcoming Social Anxiety: Embracing Growth”

Maintaining Healthy Boundaries

Saying no when needed

Learn to prioritize your well-being by saying no to activities or social engagements that feel overwhelming or stressful.

Prioritizing self-care

Make self-care a priority by engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Take time for hobbies, exercise, and restful sleep.

Avoiding comparison with others

Avoid comparing yourself to others or setting unrealistic standards. Focus on your own journey and growth, and remember that everyone’s experiences are unique.

Unique FAQs

1 Is it normal to feel socially anxious after quarantine?

Yes, it’s entirely normal to experience heightened social anxiety after a period of isolation. The key is to acknowledge these feelings and take steps to address them positively.
2 What are some quick tips for managing social anxiety in social situations?

Practice deep breathing exercises, focus on positive self-talk, and set small, achievable goals for social interactions.
3 When should I seek professional help for social anxiety?

Consider seeking professional help if social anxiety significantly impacts your daily life, relationships, or mental well-being.
4 Can social anxiety improve with time and practice?

Yes, with consistent effort, exposure to social situations, and the right coping strategies, social anxiety can improve over time.
5 Are there online resources available for managing social anxiety?

Yes, there are many online resources, support groups, and mental health apps that offer valuable tools and guidance for managing social anxiety.


Coming out of quarantine and navigating social situations can be daunting, especially for those experiencing heightened social anxiety. It’s essential to recognize and validate these feelings while also taking proactive steps to manage them effectively. By gradually exposing yourself to social interactions, practicing self-care, and seeking support when needed, you can build confidence and resilience in social settings.

As we start emerging from our caves and re-entering the world little by little, there are some people who will feel unbridled enthusiasm as they pack their calendar with as much as they can, and others who—despite being somewhat socially starved—might feel anxious at only the thought of it, hesitant to start interacting just yet.

“There are some nearly universal reactions to the social isolation imposed by COVID-19—frustration, concern for loved ones, financial worries, sympathy for those who have died, boredom, etc.,” says psychologist Forrest Talley, Ph.D. And then there’s social anxiety.

But why? There’s actually a lot to unpack. Long story short: Your fearful brain is trying to keep you safe, and nothing really feels completely safe right now. Here’s more on why you might be feeling this way, how to know when it’s a serious issue, and what you can do to help.

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