How to Get Over Social Anxiety for the Elderly?

How to Get Over Social Anxiety for  the Elderly?

How to Get Over Social Anxiety? Wear a mask. Social distance. Wash your hands. Get tested. Stay home.

These rules have guided our lives for over a year. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has nearly everyone feeling more anxious than before. Long-term quarantine and a steady stream of video calls may have enhanced existing conditions or created new feelings of social anxiety. Now as vaccination rates rise and businesses begin to open back up, the thought of returning to the “Before Times” may make you feel uneasy.


You're not by yourself.


The number of Americans reporting symptoms of anxiety, sadness, or both grew dramatically from June 2019 to December 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with women reporting more symptoms. As we waited for things to return to "normal," we were accustomed to a lack of face-to-face engagement. This isolation, when combined with increased technology use and tight safety rules, became a breeding environment for social anxiety.

People with anxiety disorders who were diagnosed before COVID-19 may have observed an increase in the frequency or intensity of their symptoms as the pandemic progressed. Others who had never experienced those issues previously may have become increasingly aware of them.

Fear of embarrassment or perceived judgment from others, as well as fear of engaging with others in a group situation, are common social anxiety symptoms. Many people have had these emotions at some point in their lives. However, for other people, these sensations are so strong that they shun social situations entirely.



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Ways to cope with social anxiety


Is this something you've heard before? As you start making plans with friends and family:


  • Have a conversation about it. When making plans, express your worries to family and friends.

  • Be careful. Check out the CDC's most recent recommendations for fully vaccinated individuals and social events.

  • Be your own best friend. It may take some time for you to feel at ease around groups again, and that's fine. Allow yourself the freedom to go at your own pace.

  • Take it slowly at first. When you've been alone for a while, you don't have to jump into a large gathering. Begin by meeting for a couple of hours with one or two folks. As you become more comfortable, gradually expand the time and size of the group.
  • Look for the bright side. Remember how happy you were in previous contacts, and trust that these encounters will offer you the same satisfaction.
  • Keep your feet on the ground. To help you relax before, during, and after a social gathering, try journaling, meditation, listening to peaceful music, or other grounding activities.
  • Get up and go! Exercise is beneficial to both your physical and emotional well-being. Choose an enjoyable activity, such as walking, dancing, or playing with a pet.


Focus on your breathing if you need to take a break. Inhale deeply through your nose to fill your belly and raise your chest. Exhale slowly through the nose once more, aiming for a longer exhale than an inhale. This allows you to stay in the moment and not be preoccupied with the "what ifs" of social interactions.



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