“We’ve been told that we’ve had to stay six feet away, and then three feet away, and then we can all of a sudden be back together. And that’s not how human beings work. We don’t just change on a dime and decide that it’s OK for us to do something different when we’ve been told we’ve had to do something one way for so long, and it’s been fear-based. So there’s a lot of fear and anxiety around how we’re going to interact again. It’s gonna take time, and it’s OK for you to decide what that looks like.” — Chamin Ajjan, Psychotherapist
“A lot of people are dealing with body image issues. They’re dealing with agoraphobia,” said the clinical director of her own self-named boutique group psychotherapy practice. “I think we also underestimate, along with the pandemic, we experienced a racial crisis here that has really had a deep impact and a collective trauma on people. And a lot of people are afraid to go outside for that reason, too.”
Pandemic stress manifests itself in different ways, and Ajjan ultimately believes it depends on the person if it will ever go away.
“Our kids are very resilient and I think they are going to fare the best out of all of this,” she said, but “there’s going to be some residual effects for people,” like opting to continue wearing face masks in public, even while fully vaccinated.
But Ajjan maintains that with time, the pandemic stress will start to fade.
“We’re human beings; we are resilient,” she said. “With time, you know, we get more and more comfortable and things start to fade away. I think we’re going to be OK.”
In the video above, Chamin offers advice on how we can prepare to navigate post-pandemic life given these additional stressors, how to address our feelings in healthy, productive ways, and more. Trust, you don’t want to miss out on her tips (and then some) before you start re-engaging with the world.