Many people, older and younger have lost their confidence due to the impact of the pandemic and are now experiencing Social Phobia and Anxiety with being in larger groups of people, like crowded shops or functions, and around returning to school, university or getting back to work.
For some people this is a new feeling and for others it has increased after the comparative safety of lockdown, which has gone on for much longer than any of us could have predicted.
After the 19th July this year, more people feel uncertain about the ‘rules’ or etiquette in social or work situations, creating social awkwardness, worries on what is the right way to act around others and feeling unsure about themselves.
For many there is still that wariness around Covid19 and that we are not out of the woods yet!
So, what to do to Reboot your Confidence?
…and to also reduce Social Phobia and Anxiety
Firstly, be kind to yourself and others around you and appreciate you may be a bit out of practice in face-to-face socialising or working and so are other people – which also means they are generally focusing on themselves, not you! Once you have socilaised a few times you will start to feel more at ease.
Talk to others you trust about how you feel – you will be surprised that many people do have similar feelings and opening up is a great way of getting the worries out and feeling better and by having the courage to speak about how you feel could also help someone else who is struggling.
Step by little step – ease yourself into social situations by starting with small gatherings and with work, do speak to your employer and agree to take regular breaks. Most people and organisations do have a greater understanding and will focus on being more aware of mental health and giving support.
For school or University
*young children – the teachers and parents can work together – communication is key on both sides and reassuring the child that you are there for them – maybe they can take in a toy that helps give them reassurance.
*Older children and University students – again, it is about talking about your worries and agreeing a strategy if you are really struggling. Maybe take something like a tactile keyring or pen you like or wear a favourite colour of clothing that helps you feel some comfort and therefore more secure.
*Buddy up with someone and do things together until you both feel comfortable again – which you will.
Fear of doing something can feel big – until you do it
The fear of doing something is always bigger than once you have done it – once day 1 is over you can breathe easier, and you may even then think ‘well that wasn’t so bad’ or ‘what was I worried about?’
*Remember to then give yourself a pat on the back!
Focus on the things that did go well, and if it works for you – write them down – it helps your mind to focus on what was positive out of the day or experience.
**If you feel you can’t talk to people around you, then the 24/7 text service that SHOUT 85258 offers is a great way to get some support.
You can also use ‘visualisation’ – this is using your wonderful and powerful imagination to literally imagine your day going well. Just before you go to sleep, with your eyes closed, see yourself – like in a film or dream – having a good day and smiling – it works. Athletes use visualisation to imagine themselves winning and practice their skills – if you have ever heard an Olympian receive a Gold medal – they say I have dreamt of this moment many times over. If you think you can’t do this – well think again! Anxiety is imagination on overdrive – imagining things going wrong – so with visualisation you purposefully imagine things going well.
Also, I have talked before about pressing, tapping or rubbing below your collar bone if you are feeling anxious about a situation and thinking of someone or something or someone that makes you smile, then imagine your favourite colour and tell yourself ‘I’m OK – I’ve got this’