Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, most people's everyday reality has been replaced with unsettling and different experiences. From avoiding close contact with loved ones and self-isolation to food shortages and entire city shut-downs, a lot has happened.
Now that governments around the world are encouraging their societies to return to normal, another type of anxiety has crept in: re-entry anxiety. The worry of re-entering your community, job, or school has become a debilitating fear for many.
Here are the four best apps you can use to help you overcome re-entry anxiety.
1. My Diary
Research shows that keeping a journal, whether that’s to reflect on your mood or to write down what you’re grateful for, can help to improve mental health.
Having a journaling app, such as My Diary, makes it easy to jot down feelings, concerns, and memories while on the go. Reflecting on your day or writing down what you are grateful for can have a positive impact on your mental health, and may soothe anxiety.
My Diary is a free and easy-to-use app, with privacy options to help keep your entries safe.
How to Set Up My Diary
- Download My Diary from the Play Store.
- Choose your preferred theme (some are only available on the paid Pro version of the app).
- Tap on the plus sign at the bottom of the screen to add your first diary entry.
My Diary Privacy Settings
For extra privacy, you can set a diary lock to protect your secrets:
- Tap on the menu icon (burger icon) in the top-left of the screen.
- Tap on Diary Lock.
- Toggle Set a passcode to protect your diary.
- You can choose to draw a lock pattern or enter a lock pin.
- Set a security question: choose from the drop-down menu to choose your question and input your secret answer.
- You can then choose to toggle Enable Fingerprint if you want to unlock your diary with your fingerprint.
By keeping a diary, you not only have an outlet for your day-to-day feelings, but you can also track your moods. Tracking your mood can help identify patterns of how you feel and the triggers that may cause you to feel sad, happy, angry, or excited.
Download: My Diary for Android (Free)
Making lists can be more than just a productive tool—they can be used to create positive lists of things to look forward to.
If you’re worried about rejoining the post-pandemic world, it might help to make lists of things you’re excited to be able to do again. Or you can make a list of people you will be able to see now restrictions have been lifted.
ColorNote has an attractive interface that mimics writing on sticky notes. Here's how to use it:
How to Use ColorNote
- To create a note, tap the add button at the bottom of the screen.
- Choose a note type: text or checklist.
- Tap in the white box at the top to add your title.
- Tap on the lined screen below to write your notes.
- Change the color of your note by tapping the colored square box to the right of the title box.
- Tap the three-dot menu to set a reminder, send your note, create a lock, or discard.
You can also change the color of your notes using the square box at the top of the home screen. Tap the three-dot menu bar to change the view of your notes.
You can check your calendar, search for notes, and change your settings and theme from the main screen.
Download: ColorNote for Android (Free)
Meetup is a platform you can use to find and meet people who have the same interests or hobbies as you.
By reintroducing yourself to an old hobby, meeting a new group of friends, or developing your general interest within a social group, you may stave off anxiety linked to returning to normal activities.
Digital events are now big on Meetup, so you can enjoy the benefits of a meet-up group from the safety of your home if you’re not ready to go out and meet people just yet.
You can search for groups on the website or via the Meetup app.
How to Set Up an Account on the Meetup App
Tap on Sign up to create a new account.
- Sign in using your Facebook or Google credentials. Alternatively, tap on Continue with Email.
- Enter your Name, Email, and Password
- Tap on the photo icon to add an image of yourself (optional).
- Enter your Age and Gender (optional).
- Choose your Categories: Tap on a few of your interests to select them, then tap Next.
- Choose your Interests: Search for additional interests using the search bar, or tap on the suggested groups. Tap Next.
- Join groups: You can choose groups to join in your area by tapping on Join. Alternatively, tap Next to do this later.
- Attend suggested upcoming events: Tap Attend to reserve your spot. Alternatively, tap Next to continue to the homepage.
Once you've set up your Meetup account, you can browse both online and in-person events and groups to join. Simply use the search bar at the top of the Explore page to search for specific interests.
If you can’t find a group or event you truly desire, you can always opt to start a new group and organize your own events from the Home page.
Download: MeetUp for Android | iOS (Free)
4. Google Calendar
Now that you’re starting to plan exciting social meet-ups or events, you might want to use a digital calendar to organize your plans.
Putting things to look forward to in your digital diary can help boost your mood and ease your anxiety—helping you to view returning to normal activities as exciting, not intimidating.
Google Calendar is a straightforward app you can use to organize your day-to-day life.
How to Set Up Google Calendar
- Download Google Calendar from your app store.
- You will be asked for permission to access your contacts. Tap Allow or Deny to set your preference.
- Sign in With Your Email Address (you don’t need to use a Google account).
You can also use Google Calendar to help manage how many new social events you are booking up. It might be sensible to only organize a few events initially as you adapt to the “new normal” world, as overstuffing your diary could lead to overwhelm.
Spread your plans across the month to help manage the change.
Download: Google Calendar for Android | iOS (Free)
You’ll Feel Better When You Get Started
When something makes you feel anxious, you are likely to feel worse the longer you avoid the issue. The sooner you take steps towards overcoming re-entry anxiety, the sooner you will feel better.
Take it slow, though—start by downloading one of the above apps and trying it out. Taking small steps towards your goal of overcoming re-entry anxiety is the best way to tackle it.