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Scared of the world, my therapist wants me to get out more

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My therapist wants me to start taking small steps in getting out of the house and being around people. She wants me to come up with a list of things that I would be comfortable doing, such as activity groups or volunteering, but I don't think I'm ready for things like that because I have horrible "anticipation anxiety" so I would prefer something where I can go that I don't have to sign up for and make a commitment or appointment, this way if I can go or not go without the feeling of letting someone down. So far the only thing I can think of is church, although I am not religious. If anyone has anything where I can just show up without making a commitment please let me know.

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Its so tough suffering from anxiety! ! ! I suffer too and I feel for what you are going through.  Some cities that have public libraries have "Friends of the Library" organizations.  In my city it is very laid back volunteering.  Come when you want.  Go when you want.  No pressure.  It involves sorting books people give as gifts to the library.  Maybe it is not to your liking but I can't think of anything else at the moment.  Good luck with everything!

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There's also Meetup (.com). In my city I've seen social anxiety support groups on Meetup, you could signup to that, and I'll bet nobody would blame you if you wanted to take off part-way through. I've also seen meetups for walking tours, "mindful walks", stuff like that, around the city. You could show up, take part in the walks, and then take off part-way through if you needed to.

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Honestly, if you are having trouble getting out of the house, I think going to a meetup or some type of social activity might be too overwhelming. Start small.

- Go to a park when it's not too busy (I'd recommend between 1pm and 3pm - generally when people are at work) and get comfortable with it  Then go during a busier time. I still feel almost ill taking the train at rush hour because there's so many people, but it gets better if I do it regularly.

- Go shopping (don't need to buy anything). I get a lot less anxious in stores that aren't in malls. Talk to the salesperson if they approach you. As you get more confident, you can approach the salesperson. I like this because if I start getting anxious I can just gtfo.

- There are volunteering opportunities that don't require a lot of social interaction. Right now I am a volunteer gardener at a senior center (I just started last month). But I really only have talked to the volunteer coordinator and then sometimes the grant developer helps me garden. I help once a week, and they are absolutely chill about when I come in. It's helped build my confidence and realize I can be part of "normal" society.

Edited by Kogent5
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