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Vancouver counsellor says anxiety about return to "normal" in B.C.'s restart plan is expected

People wear face masks as they walk through the Atwater Market in Montreal, Monday, May 24, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

If you're feeling a little uneasy about social interaction and a return to "normal.", you're not alone

a registered councillor, she says with so many months of restrictions it might be hard to want to be around large groups

She it's important we are able to ease ourselves back into social interactions at our own pace

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Following months of COVID-19 restrictions, an expert says you’re not alone if you’re starting to feel anxious about future social events.

Mia Anthony is a registered counsellor in Vancouver and says those feelings of uncertainty are normal, adding for some, it could take time to feel comfortable expanding social bubbles.

“Coping is going to look different for each person. So what works for one person is not necessarily going to work for another.”

She explains, for the past year and a half, people have worked on readjusting their lives to the changes COVID brought in 2020. However, it can now feel like your life is changing again.

So as B.C. moves into recovery, generally, Anthony advises people to familiarize themselves with their boundaries.

She says you can ask yourself, “What is it that you are comfortable with? What is it that you’re not comfortable with?”

Adding, it’s also okay to say “no.”

“Oftentimes, it’s really hard to uphold boundaries. And sometimes COVID has given us an excuse to be able to say no, because COVID,” she says. “But when the restrictions are not there, it’s kind of going, ‘Oh, what is my excuse now?'”

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So if you feel like turning down a meet-up, she says feel free to ask the person that you’re about to hang out with, what has been their procedures around COVID safety.

“You have a right to know and make an informed choice and give your full consent to that as well … comfortability levels are really important.”

Anthony says there are several ways to cope, whether that’s seeking support from family, friends or a counsellor.