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.