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Returning To School: Social Anxiety

kids in classroom with masks on

The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll on everyone, regardless of their age.

The previous academic year presented a challenge to many students due to the constant switch between in-person and online learning.

What we previously perceived as “normal” has significantly changed, and we’re left to discover exactly what this “new normal” entails.

With more than half of the Canadian population vaccinated, most restrictions have been lifted, and as of September, most students will be returning to in-person classes.

Although many are excited to be among their peers again, some students are apprehensive about returning. Any big changes are sure to bring about certain anxieties, especially after a year of uncertainty and minimal social interactions.

Learning how to manage and cope with social anxiety and stress is the first step in preventing any potential anxiety attacks.

What Is Social Anxiety?

Learning and communicating from behind a screen is completely different than having a face-to-face conversation. kid in class talking to teacher

Over the past year, many people have adjusted to interacting with others from the comfort of their own homes, so the thought of having to re-engage with people in a different environment can be incredibly stressful and something they’ll try to avoid as much as possible.

Due to the constant lockdowns, plenty of people have developed social anxiety, which is a type of anxiety disorder that causes extreme fear in social settings.

Individuals suffering from this disorder have trouble meeting new people, attending social gatherings, and simply just talking to people, whether they already know them or not.

The fear of being judged and scrutinized by others drives people with social anxiety away from any social interactions, preferring to be alone than under the assessing gazes of others.

It’s important to know that social anxiety is different from shyness, as shyness is usually short-term and doesn’t disrupt one’s life. There are some physical and psychological symptoms that can determine whether or not a person has social anxiety or is just a shy person.

How to Cope With School Anxiety and Covid-19

Over a year of remote learning has taken both a mental and emotional toll on all students.

With schools starting in-person learning again, the transition to a new environment presents new mental health challenges for many.

Although difficult, it’s important to learn how to cope with social anxiety, before it develops into a more severe disorder. The first step you should take is to know the facts and what to expect.

kid with his father talking about his anxietyStay informed about potential health risks and follow all the safety measures in place to ensure everyone stays healthy and no more lockdowns are required.

Keep in mind, however, that it’s crucial to take breaks from reading or watching news coverage on the coronavirus, as you can become overwhelmed with all the information.

Secondly, create and follow a routine you’re comfortable with. A predictable routine will take away some of the uncertainty you may feel.

Make sure to incorporate healthy meals and a proper sleep schedule in your routine, as a poor diet and lack of sleep can make signs of social anxiety worse.

Learning some relaxation techniques could also help alleviate some anxiety in stressful situations. Try to relax tense muscles, starting with the neck and shoulders and working your way down. Some relaxation techniques to consider are breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga.

Most importantly, don’t bottle up social anxiety. By communicating to others what you’re feeling, you’ll be able to understand your fears and work to overcome them.

Overcome Your Social Anxiety At Waystone Psychology

The thought of returning back to a “normal” routine after living in such unprecedented times can be scary and overwhelming.

Social anxiety has become one of the most common anxiety disorders found in children and teens today. The journey to overcoming the many fears a person has is a long and hard one, but definitely achievable.

With the help of our professional therapists and counsellors at Waystone Psychology, you can learn how to cope and manage your anxiety and stress in a healthy and controlled manner.

Reach out to us today to learn more about how our friendly and expert counsellors can help you begin the journey towards your well being.