Hi everyone! For this post, I want to talk about social anxiety because it’s a pressing issue as we live with the pandemic. Moreover, I’ve created previous posts about the quarantine lifestyle as well, feel free to check them out:
- Things That Quarantine Taught Us About Ourselves
- Boost Your Productivity By Scheduling Your Day Using Google Calendar
- Online Courses To Take (and Sites) To Be Productive At Home
- Helpful Ways to Cultivate a Growth Mindset During a Crisis
- Things You Can Do During Quarantine
Anyway, let us define social anxiety in a more scientific way:
fear of social situations in which embarrassment may occur (e.g., making conversation, meeting strangers, dating) or there is a risk of being negatively evaluated by others (e.g., seen as stupid, weak, or anxious). Social anxiety involves apprehensiveness about one’s social status, role, and behavior. – American Psychological Association
While it’s pretty normal for people to develop anxiety because it is a survival mechanism, excessive anxiety disables us to proceed to normal functioning. For this post, let us tackle a more specific kind of anxiety, social anxiety and why it matters to cope with it during this pandemic.
Social anxiety can happen for introverts and extroverts?
I know some of you have experienced not wanting to attend social gatherings due to various factors. Quarantine or not, we cannot avoid social interactions as well. It is definitely true that we need social interactions to thrive and survive. However, too much of it drains some people. Like any other thing, if it is in excessive amounts, then it would not be too beneficial.
This is true for both introverts and extroverts. Though extroverts would get energy on meeting people, too much of it can also cause fatigue. On the other hand, in contrary to popular belief that introverts are the usual stay-at-home people, introverts also need social interaction. To compare these two, think of yourself as your phone in 20% battery. Meeting people and hanging out with them increases your battery percentage to 25% if you’re an extrovert. On the other hand, being an introvert drains your battery to 15%. However, you need to use your phone in order to function at times. Take note that this is not a bad thing but it’s more of an energy consumption process.
Thus, no matter how introverted or extroverted you might be, you can still be socially anxious. It might be contradicting for extroverts but an extroverted person who is socially anxious definitely needs social interactions more than introverts do and at the same time avoids it. You can read more about it here.
In what ways do our social anxiety is triggered during this quarantine? We do have social distancing anyway.
This could be true, but always remember how people thrive for social interactions. Thus, most people will look for ways to connect, and it can be overwhelming for some. Most of the things that triggers our social anxiety is not being out there, outside (of course, we can’t go outside much!), but it is the online environment that was built to maintain social interactions.
Here are some points that you might be feeling on this quarantine period:
- Video calls are becoming invasive.
- You receive too much messages, but you don’t feel like talking to everyone.
- Your personal space is being invaded by the online world, because there is an unclear divide for work and home (for some working at home).
- Sometimes you think how other people would think just because you don’t feel like connecting with them.
- Being on the screen makes you feel too conscious about yourself.
- You worry that others might worry on how you feel.
And the list goes on.
Take note that though social distancing may be present, social anxiety can still manifest even in remote setups. Socializing is still socializing regardless of what medium you’re doing it in.
Social anxiety is normal for some people. And here’s how you can cope with it.
You can cope with it, definitely! To tell you, my dear readers, I have experienced it, too (and I’m not going to write stuff here I haven’t experienced anyway) and sometimes, it would be too much to handle especially I am a natural introvert. I have a post about that here. I don’t usually have phone notifications, it’s a way of coping up and a way for me to manage my time as well. However, of course, once you opened that application, you have no choice but to see how many unread stuff you have! I remembered one time that everything was piled up, it was around 150+ notifications in social networking sites, with my emails excluded and looking at it drained me already. Have you felt that one, too?
Some people might find this difficult to understand especially if they haven’t experienced it. Thus, if you notice a friend of yours that might be feeling the same thing, just give them understanding, that’s the best support you can give.
Here are three major ways I can share with you on how I live with this. You can try this as well:
1. Accept the fact that it’s normal for some people. You don’t have a disorder.
For some people, they equate social anxiety with social anxiety disorder. And they are completely two different things:
Social phobia is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by extreme and persistent social anxiety or performance anxiety and that causes significant distress or prevents participation in social activities. The feared situation is most often avoided altogether or else it is endured with marked discomfort or dread. Also called social anxiety disorder. – American Psychological Association
Now being extreme is a different story. As for me, in every negative thing that I have been experiencing, the first thing that I do is to acknowledge the fact that it exists. Our life works in a way that it needs balance, thus, we need to experience both positive and negative stuff. Fighting the existence of this makes it more unbearable for us to proceed.
2. Move your body. Even at home.
You might need some exercise too. There are studies that sitting on your desk for longer hours can trigger your mental health as well. May it be walking nearby, playing with your pets, volunteering to do the groceries, and more, look for ways to move. Socialize more to the people around you at home. They could be your support system, too.
I take bicycle rides around my area. If you have a bike, it’s good for social distancing.
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Are people getting back to normal? Or developing new habits for the new normal? Took some quickie stroll around using my bicycle (yes, this is good for #socialdistancing) and checked around how the area is doing. Fewer people than the old normal but businesses are resuming gradually. Few teens started to play some sports just in front of their houses as well. People are still cautious as they wear their masks on. No mass gatherings still. We are humans after all, and adaptation is one key aspect of our survival. This pandemic proved that we should all be willing to change, because life never stays the same. Innovate. – – What habits have you developed/innovated so far? #QuarantineDiaries #QuarantineLife
I also create yummy recipes. Try different hobbies at home!
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WATCH MY IGTV VLOG#8 FOR FULL VIDEO Ciao amici! Mangiamo della panna cotta! Tried this recipe mix from @madamelouloumix for a simple Panna Cotta dessert! The mold was a fail so I have to transfer it to a glass container. Tools from @allaboutbakingph ♥️ Here’s our first weekend recipe. Buon appetito #QuarantineRecipes #WeekendRecipes
Stay healthy and workout at home. So many resources are available to start our wellness journey.
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My packages arrived!! Happy to receive this pack for my overall #health with the brands I love!⠀ ⠀ Though I missed running sooooo much, I’ve been practicing Pilates from @jessicavalantpilates for some time, especially the Scolioisis routine (I have it) and it really lessened the pain in my body! (Spinal balance is still the most challenging) Thus, added some bands for equipments from @decathlon.ph that I’m excited to try out with some new routines. Check some snippets, swipe left! #SportsForEveryJuan ⠀ ⠀ And of course nothing completes the start of your day with proper supplementation! Together with great food, my daily dose of vitamins supports me on every activity I do ⠀ ⠀ More packages arriving soon and I’m excited! Let’s do an unboxing soon? Who’s using these? #LiveUSANA
Follow up: But sometimes, when I get too concentrated on a task, I tend to stay in that place.
Yes, you can feel that as well. However as we keep on reiterating earlier, too much isn’t good. And thus this would lead us to…
3. Manage your time.
Now the process of time management becomes more crucial since you need to delineate the time you need to work, to socialize, to exercise, to do errands at home. If you keep working on things randomly, it would be hard for you to establish a certain routine as well. Moreover, this gives you the freedom to tell your coworkers and friends that you have a specific time for Zoom meetings, Hangouts, Houseparties, and etc.
Take note that you don’t have to be too strict with it, you just need to establish a certain routine for yourself. Think about this: When you skip a routine, let’s say eating lunch or taking a bath, you feel incomplete, right? If a habit is well-established, you have that sort of feeling that you feel incomplete that’s why it’s already incorporated in your daily life. Looking back to #2, a lot of people wanted to have that health goal but never gets consistent because actually, it all boils down to proper time management.
There you go! It might not be a lot of advice but it would definitely help. Those three that I’ve mentioned are the first ways on how you can start to cope with it. Take it easy and always remember that hardships come in all forms, and that’s one essence of living.
Connect and disconnect, when you need to.
See you on my next post!
- Some articles worth reading:
- Social anxiety: how to cope when video calls are making you anxious
- We’re all video chatting now. But some of us hate it.
- Zoom Social Pressure Is Rising As The Novelty Wears Off
- Zoom Burnout Is Real
- The Reason Zoom Calls Drains Your Energy
- A Socially Anxious Person’s Guide to Navigating Zoom Calls
- Symptoms and Diagnosis of Social Anxiety Disorder
- Why Socializing Drains Introverts More Than Extroverts
- Spending Time Alone Might Be the Best Way to Rest, According to Science
- Can Extroverts Have Social Anxiety?
- COVID-19 Lockdown Guide: How to Manage Anxiety and Isolation During Quarantine
- How an Introvert Lives with Social Anxiety
- 5 Simple Tips to Help Manage Social Anxiety After Leaving Lockdown