How to Make Friends Post-COVID | Reintegration Anxiety | Summary and Q&A

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June 29, 2021
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HealthyGamerGG
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How to Make Friends Post-COVID | Reintegration Anxiety

TL;DR

Reintegration anxiety is the emerging phenomenon where individuals, despite longing for social interactions and normalcy, feel anxious and uncertain about reintegrating into society and school settings after the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Key Insights

  • 🥺 The COVID-19 pandemic led to increased isolation, depression, and anxiety, impacting people's mental health.
  • 😒 Online interactions have provided some comfort during the pandemic, but excessive use of social media has negative effects on mental health.
  • 🖤 Reintegration anxiety arises due to the lack of practice in real-world social interactions and a reliance on online communities.
  • 👻 Reintegration anxiety can be alleviated by gradually engaging in in-person interactions, allowing dormant social circuits in the brain to reactivate and reduce anxiety.

Questions & Answers

Q: What is reintegration anxiety, and why are people experiencing it?

Reintegration anxiety refers to the unease and anxiety individuals feel when reintegrating into society and social interactions after the pandemic. People experienced isolation and relied heavily on online interactions, leading to a lack of practice in real-world socializing, causing anxiety when faced with the prospect of in-person interactions once again.

Q: How does reintegration anxiety relate to online schooling?

Reintegration anxiety manifests in the context of online schooling as well. Students may feel concerned about their ability to adapt to in-person classes, follow schedules, and cope with the lack of insulation provided by online schooling. The anxiety stems from being out of practice and lacking the confidence they had before the pandemic.

Q: Can reintegration anxiety be worse for individuals with pre-existing social anxiety?

Yes, individuals with pre-existing social anxiety may experience heightened reintegration anxiety. As their brain's social circuits have rusted during the pandemic, they may feel a loss of confidence and fear potential negative judgment from others. However, exposure to social situations and engaging with others can still help alleviate their anxiety over time.

Q: What if reintegration anxiety persists even after attempting to reintegrate?

Reintegration anxiety often stems from the uncertainty associated with the lack of practiced social interactions. The anxiety may persist even after taking steps to reintegrate. It is important to understand that seeking complete reassurance is unrealistic. Taking the first step and gradually exposing oneself to social situations can help reduce anxiety over time.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • During the pandemic, people experienced isolation, depression, and anxiety, leading to a reliance on online communities for socializing.

  • Spending time online increased social anxiety while providing some comfort, leading to a lack of practice in real-world social interactions.

  • Reintegration anxiety occurs as people struggle to tap into the social circuits of their brain, which have gone dormant due to the lack of in-person interactions.

  • Simply showing up and engaging in social activities can help alleviate reintegration anxiety, as the brain's circuits gradually reactivate and anxiety diminishes.

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