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Post-Lockdown Social Anxiety? Just me?

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Hey people 🙂. This is a shorter one. Just a random description of my recent questionable behaviours.

I know some countries are still in lockdown. Some are starting to ease restrictions. For me, I've been in lockdown in England since the end of March or beginning of April (That's kind of around the time when the lockdown first started. If you're from the UK you know what i mean). Now the restrictions are pretty much lifted ... But anyways I'm not in the UK anymore. I flew back to my home country at the end of June for summer holidays. Daily life is going regularly here at home. Just a few restrictions such as no gyms, restaurant curfews etc. 

I had mixed feelings during the lockdown. My loneliness peaked surely (My 2 housemates and I rented a house near Uni. They both flew back to their home countries before the UK lockdown in April). April, May and most of June I was alone in the house with pretty much no one to talk to or be there for me if anything happens. Simultaneously, I felt relaxed. I can do whatever I want whenever I want in the house without worrying about what anybody thinks ...

After I flew back home ... I feel very overwhelmed. I've had depression and anxiety for quite a few years and being out in public is one of those very difficult and exhausting tasks. Sometimes it's just the typical things you know, for instance I am very wary of how I present myself in front of others (Appearance and personality) ... I constantly think people are looking at me or judging me even though they probably don't care about my existence etc.

After approximately 3 months of not seeing anybody (I only maybe see a few people once a week for groceries shopping in England during the lockdown)... and now suddenly seeing that many people outside every single day ...The transition is just very drastic. I'm on edge all the time. I suddenly have to talk to people again or I have to do my makeup to go out again. It shows on my face ... I frown.

Sometimes, my behaviours are just ridiculous ... like this:

Today I went to the bank. I had to reset some of my details so I went to the nearest branch just within walking distance (Like 5 minutes). The guy who worked there asked me for my ID and I realised I forgot to bring it. I told him I forgot and I could just go home to get it since I live close by. And then there was this awkward silence he said okay and I'm like okay. On the way back to get my ID all of a sudden I felt this huge rush of embarrassment and I just started tearing up. I never went back to the bank because I starting crying when I got home ...

Like what even is wrong with me? It's not even that big of a deal I just need to get my ID and walk back there but it's just that thing where even the tiniest bit of awkwardness or embarrassment makes me panic and want to hide from the world ...

Social anxiety isn't new for me but overreacting to little things like this? I think I forgot how to co-exist with the world anymore since the lockdown.



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Posted (edited)

One thing that's persisted for me for most of my life is projecting my own self-judgement on someone else that I'm interacting with--verbally or otherwise. The challenge has been to try considering that they may have their own struggles or daily grind that set the tone long that interaction took place. Social anxiety is most likely more prevalent now in the age of pandemic and resulting isolation, as those of us who get stuck in our heads anticipate what could happen; those who are on the extroverted end of the spectrum have actually had it worse given their need for social interaction. In sum, everyone is basically on proverbial pins and needles. I get what you went through....I tend to replay those scenes of embarrassment/self judgement in my head by default.

Edited by TheToddman

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