| 16.6°C Dublin

Close

Premium


Re-entry anxiety: Negotiating the minefield of a post-lockdown world

Stella O'Malley


After cocooning for months from a deadly virus, many of us feel almost institutionalised, writes Stella O'Malley

Close

After cocooning for months from a deadly virus, many of us feel almost institutionalised, writes Stella O'Malley

After cocooning for months from a deadly virus, many of us feel almost institutionalised, writes Stella O'Malley

Stock image

Stock image

Getty Images/iStockphoto

/

After cocooning for months from a deadly virus, many of us feel almost institutionalised, writes Stella O'Malley

Lockdown was safe; we knew what to do - no unnecessary journeys, no socialising, stay home. There was a sameness to it; we had to abide by the same rules and we were all pretty much in the same boat. But now that we are coming back to real life, many people dread this more uncertain way of being.

The rules have changed and everything feels different. Despite the scary pictures of young people socialising in pubs, it is becoming clear that there is a whole other group who dread meeting other people and are instead choosing to remain home.

The term "re-entry anxiety" was originally coined to describe the phenomenon of young soldiers returning to society after being away at war. Psychologists are now referring to our current feelings of unease as a form of "re-entry anxiety".