We have been living like hermits for more than a year. As life begins to open up again, the return to in-person gatherings is upon us and many people are nervous about in-person socializing. If you are heading back to work, you might be dealing with a rollercoaster of emotions. On one hand, you could be eager to get back to some sort of normalcy, but you may feel a bit out of sorts being around groups of people again. Ladies, yes it might be time to put the lipstick on again, and guys, it would not be a bad idea to trim or shave that beard. For many of us, it will be time to say "goodbye" or at least "see ya later" to the workout pants and slippers!
People might be anxious for a variety of reasons. Even if you have been fully vaccinated, you could still be concerned about COVID as you begin to be around more maskless people. While you may have felt bored working from home or spending more time in your house, there was a certain comfort and familiarity to it. As things begin to open up, our schedule will be fuller, we will be talking with more people, and that could create some added stress.
Going out to dinner with friends, talking to people at work, or enjoying an even were all second nature prior to the pandemic, but they now could make some of us very uncomfortable. In addition to being concerned about the virus, jumping back into social situations may feel a bit awkward. It goes without saying that we still should follow safety guidelines for the pandemic, but beyond that, here are some ideas to get back into the swing of things.
Tell A Joke
You may need a little practice but making eye contact and laughing together is essential to feel connected with someone. Even if the joke falls flat, being goofy with people will feel really good.
Get In Touch
Reach out to someone you have not seen for a while and plan an in-person (yes in-person) get-together, of course following the safety guidelines.
Start The Conversation
Ask what someone is listening to or what they are reading. People love to talk about themselves. Being interested in what someone else is doing can start a great conversation and who knows, maybe you will have a lot in common.
Share A Meal
During a lunch break or even on the weekends, plan a time to enjoy a meal with someone. Whether a co-worker, business associate, or friend, it will give you a chance to have a real conversation and establish a face-to-face bond again.