Re-entry anxiety a real concern as area re-opening accelerates

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (WPVI) -- As restrictions ease over the entire area, many people are excited, but a little nervous about getting back out, but doing it safely.

Psychologists call it re-entry anxiety.

After months of staying home with one set of restrictions, some activities are OK again - but with new guidelines.

Action News got tips on navigating from a board-certified rehabilitation psychologist.

Dr. Sheryl Berardinelli of Bancroft says feeling nervous is normal - and very common - as we re-think actions we used to take for granted.

"Many people have a sense of dread, worry about the uncertainty, worry about getting sick, worry about the money," says Dr. Berardinelli.

She says planning before going out will help.

As yourself some key questions:

* Where are you going?

* How long will you be there?

* Will it be crowded?

* Will people be wearing masks, and able to stay 6 feet apart?

Remember, workers at the salon, store, or restaurant are also adjusting to new procedures, and may be nervous about doing them right, too.

Children can also be anxious about venturing out.

In fact, many of them have spent more hours at home than their parents.

But children don't show it the same way.

"They feel something is off. they may talk about having tummy aches, they may say that they don't want to leave the house or they may become more affectionate toward a parent," says Dr. Berardinelli.

She says being honest with kids about your own jitters, but telling them about how your family is keeping risks to a minimum can ease their fears, because children need to feel safe.

She also suggests starting with short trips, to gradually become more comfortable with how things operate now.

For more from Dr. Berardinelli, CLICK HERE.
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