If you’re feeling anxious and uncomfortable about going back into the world, you’re not alone.

The discomfort associated with returning to the world is so pervasive it has its own name. Re-Entry Anxiety refers to the fear and discomfort related to our re-entry into the world and aspects of our lives that we have been absent from during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

We are anxious about leaving our safe and sterile bubbles and venturing out into the world where we are no longer in control of who we interact with and how.

We are anxious about the possibility of being exposed to Covid – and other germs that we have managed to keep at bay for almost two years.

We are anxious about having to make conversation and interact with others (do we even remember how to do that?)

We are anxious about navigating our commutes.

We are anxious about having the stamina to stay awake and alert at work all day, no longer able to have a power nap between zoom meetings.

We are anxious about how the family members (including pets) are going to cope when we are no longer at home all day every day.

It’s a lot.

Here are some ideas to try and make it all feel a little less overwhelming:

Allow the Anxiety
It is OK to feel anxious and uncomfortable. Re-entry anxiety is a perfectly understandable and appropriate response when emerging from a perfectly abnormal situation. Noticing and acknowledging your anxiety is the best way you can manage the feelings.

Pace Yourself
We need to re-learn how to walk before we can run. Start small and short: meet up a with a small number of people for a short time to start off with and gradually add more people and extend the length of interactions. If possible, go back to work for a couple of hours at first, then a couple of days and build up to all day, every day, over a few weeks.

Speak up
Be honest and open about how you are feeling; your fears, your anxieties, your sadness and stress. People can’t accommodate or help and support us if they don’t know what we need help and support with.

Ask for help
Be honest with yourself about what you can and can’t manage, what you do and don’t feel up to doing. This will enable you to ask for help where you need it.


I’d love to hear your ideas and strategies to ease your re-entry.

We are emerging from an extremely challenging and stressful 20 months and all of us are battered and bruised to varying degrees. It isn’t feasible to expect ourselves to pick up where we left off in February 2020. We need to give ourselves the time and patience we need to bring ourselves back to where we were.

Be gentle and kind to yourself (and everyone around you).

Until next time,

Judy xx


Plan to minimise your Re-entry Anxiety!

A scheduling glitch has made me shift the October Plan with Purpose Workshop to the first week in November. It will now be held on Saturday 6 November and the original November one remains on Saturday 27th. I hope you will join me for a morning of purposeful planning to set you up for a year of meaning, success and minimal anxiety in 2022.

Find out more and book here: