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Dealing with social anxiety during a pandemic

Lots of people with social anxiety may find themselves dreading social situations, especially after social distancing and staying home during this pandemic. How can you work towards overcoming this right now? Here are some tips.

Socialise online
One way social anxiety can get worse is if you isolate yourself completely from other people. Keep in touch with loved ones and colleagues online so that it won’t be so difficult for you when you have to communicate with people in person.

Avoid isolating yourself completely
Yes, social distancing is required during this pandemic, but isolating yourself by avoiding social interactions completely isn’t healthy in the long term. Make an effort to socialise by speaking to people over the phone, and interacting with classmates at school.

Practise making eye contact
One thing that can be really daunting when you struggle with social anxiety is making eye contact. Practise looking people in the eyes when you speak to them. You can start by practising in the mirror, and then with friends and family. The more you make this a habit, the better you’ll become at it.

Join Online Groups
There are lots of social media groups that you can join where you can discuss topics that interest you with likeminded people. You can find your community anywhere- from Reddit and YouTube to Facebook, TikTok and specialised forums depending on your hobbies and interests. Remember to keep your personal information protected at all times.

Challenge yourself
Joining a public speaking platform or taking debating as an extracurricular activity may seem like the last thing you’d want to do, but it’s a great way to get used to speaking in crowds and gain your confidence.

Get help
Living with social anxiety isn’t easy, and we understand how difficult it can make your day-to-day interactions, especially with the added stress of a pandemic. That’s why we encourage you to get help from a trained professional such as a counsellor or therapist. You can also contact SADAG at 011 234 4837 for help taking care of your mental health.

Living with social anxiety is a challenge a lot of people face. Remember, you’re not alone in this and there are ways that you can overcome this with time and help. If you have any questions or just need someone to talk to, you can always reach out to us on Ask CellCgirl.

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