As we return to having more in-person interactions, some people are going to feel more anxiety than others. One group that's going to need some help adjusting is teens.
About 60% of 14 to 24-year-olds in a recent survey with VSCO say they are more anxious about in-person interactions now compared to pre-COVID-19.
The teen therapist we talked with doesn't think the fact that they can get vaccinated now and mask mandates are lifting is going to immediately relieve that anxiety.
But she does think parents can help teens understand the types of environments where they may feel more comfortable.
“I do think parents can also help guide teenagers by allowing them to understand code words. If they're out and they're getting really anxious, they can just text their parent and say popcorn. And their parent knows like, ‘OK, I have to go get him. I have to go get her because the environment is overwhelming,’” said Jaynay Johnson, founder of Teen Talk Therapy.
Johnson has had more parents contacting her for help with their teens during the pandemic. She thinks they've noticed the issues as they've been home more.
Black Americans are another group feeling more uneasy about adjusting to in-person interactions. Nearly 60% are feeling that way, according to a recent report from the American Psychological Association. That's more than any other racial group surveyed.
“I think Black Americans are feeling more anxious than other groups, because there have been a lot of instances of police brutality out in America, and right now, Black people since they've been quarantined, their homes have become a safe haven,” said Johnson.
Another thing she sees playing into this is the burden some Black Americans may be feeling at work to lead the push for diversity, equity, and inclusion, just because they're Black.
She recommends speaking up if you don't feel comfortable doing this, and also asking for some say in your workplace's return to the office plan.