After having our lives turned upside down as a result of COVID 19, most would assume that returning back to normal would be a welcome change. However, as many parts of the world return to their pre-isolation state, people are suffering a huge amount of anxiety, nervousness and worry about returning back to normal. So much so that the term ‘post isolation syndrome’ has been coined to describe those feeling anxious about reintegrating back into the world. Lysn psychologist Nancy Sokarno details these feelings further and explains what you can do about it.
What is post isolation syndrome?
Post isolation syndrome describes those mixed feelings people might be having about returning back to “normal” after isolation. Whether it’s feelings of worry, anxiousness or nervousness, it describes any ill feeling you might be experiencing as you come out of isolation. These feelings often stem back to the fact that you have adapted to being at home and feel safe in that environment.
What are some of the telltale symptoms?
Beyond a general feeling of worry, some tell-tale symptoms can be very similar to symptoms of anxiety – restlessness, lack of concentration, racing thoughts, fear, a feeling of impending doom, insomnia, nausea, palpitations, or trembling. You may be overthinking or catastrophising the potential changes and feel uneasy about the unpredictability ahead.
How can you tell if you or someone you know is suffering?
Look for changes in behaviour which will likely be tell-tale signs that you or someone you know is suffering from post isolation syndrome. Not wanting to get out of bed in the morning, changes in sleep routine, sudden shifts in mood, avoiding things previously enjoyed, and suppressed or increased appetite can all be signs that something is not okay.
What can you do about it?
Take the time to re-evaluate what is important to you at this time, and expose yourself to your new surroundings at your own pace and check in with your support network when you need to.
We are all dealing with rapid changes in our lives that we’ve had to grow accustomed to in such a short amount of time. Take into account things you can control like self-care, exercise, mindfulness, gratitude, and creativity. Be kind to yourself, this unique situation is new for all of us, and we are all trying to figure it out together.
As with all matters related to mental health, it is important to seek help from a professional who will be able to give you the guidance and support you need. Lysn connects you with a psychologist for an individualised and tailored personal support plan which can all be done in the comfort of your own home. Finding a psychologist you feel comfortable with is an important part of the therapeutic process and platforms like Lysn can help you find a best-fit online psychologist through a simple, sophisticated matching questionnaire.