How many times did you go to work, run errands, visit friends and family, spend time shopping, going to the cinema, and dining out pre-COVID-19? After several months of being locked down at home, some people are now struggling with a real sense of fear of leaving the home.
The virus is still out there and there is no cure for it, yet. It is completely understandable to still have reservations about going out in public. However, the important thing to remember is that by continuing to practice social distancing, wearing a facemask, and following the other recommended precautions, you can gradually start to feel less anxious when leaving home.
As we all work towards getting back to some level of normalcy, here are some useful tips that can help overcome your fears.
Tip #1: Take it slowly.
You do you and don’t worry about what your neighbours are doing. Start with trips out of the house using curbside pickup services to get groceries and other essentials. Once you are comfortable with that, then try going to a park to spend some time outdoors or a casual walk along the lake.
Tip #2: Don’t let your guard down.
It is easy to get a false sense that you are safe from the virus as things reopen. As we are seeing in the United States in Florida, Georgia, California, and Texas, where new cases of COVID-19 have increased significantly after reopening, it is largely due to people letting their guards down and not following safety precautions.
Tip #3: Spend more time outside.
If you have a backyard, now that summer weather is here, spend more time outside relaxing, reading a book, spending time in your pool, or cooking on the grill. The fresh air is great. For those that live in a condo or apartment, you can spend time outside on your patio or take a walk around the block early in the morning or later in the evening when fewer people are out.
Tip #4: Plan a holiday to Cottage Country or another rural location.
Caravans and other holiday cottage rentals are opening back up again too. Consider a weekend trip away in the countryside far from the city. In these open spaces, you have fewer people, so you can enjoy being outdoors, while still taking precautions.
Tip #5: Talk to a counsellor.
Sometimes it can be difficult to put our “finger” on what is causing our fear of leaving the home. By speaking to a counsellor, you can start to explore and uncover what that is. Counselling sessions are beneficial for any aspect of our life where you feel any type of uncertainty or are not satisfied.
As we all start to take steps to leave home for work, shopping, holiday vacations, and socializing, let’s all remember to be mindful and respectful of one another, and continue to follow the recommended safety protocols.
To schedule a telehealth or in-office counselling session in Toronto and the GTA, please feel free to contact me, Ellen Starr by calling 416-488-3102 today! I have over 27 years of experience in individuals and couples counselling with a wide range of issues, even fears of leaving the home.