LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — It has been almost one year since the COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down. And now, the reality of heading back to work and school is daunting for many.
“It feels like we’re dodging balls,” Silvia Baker, a mom, said. “It’s just crazy. It’s definitely a juggle.”READ MORE: School, Police Officials: No Shots Were Fired At Montclair High Football Game That Ended In Mass Panic
Baker and her family, like so many others, were forced to acclimate to a new version of normal last March. The mother of two is not only working remotely, but is also caring for her 15-year-old daughter with disabilities.
But with restrictions easing as cases and hospitalizations continue to fall, Baker said the anxiety of returning to work and sending her children back to in-person learning is overwhelming.
“I want to keep them in the bubble that is my home where it’s just us, but we have to go back,” she said. “As excited as I am to see everybody and be in the hustle and bustle again, it’s also…take a deep breath.”
And she’s not alone.
“There’s been an uptick in just anxiety in general,” John Tsilimparis, a marriage and family therapist, said.READ MORE: Long Beach Unified Pauses COVID Testing For Students
He said many of his patients are dealing with stress and having to face the unknown as they prepare to return to a more “normal” way of life. And, he predicts, children will face separation anxiety when they return to school, since many have grown accustomed to spending more time at home.
He also encourages parents to validate their children’s feelings of fear and anxiety and give them space to process those emotions and recommends practicing separation ahead of time.
“You can actually practice spending small or large amounts of time away from your kids so that they can experience what it’s like not having the parents close by,” Tsilimparis said.
And for adults, like Hollywood assistant Hannah Borrison, heading back to the office can bring back old stressors like traffic and long workdays.
“The idea of going back for my 10-hour workday and being in an office is a little stressful for me,” she said.
And while some parts of pre-pandemic life are slowing resuming, Tsimilparis said it will still be a long road before everything gets back to business as usual.MORE NEWS: Mother, Daughter Face Murder Charges After Illegal Butt Implant Procedure Kills Aspiring Social Media Star Karissa Rajpaul
“The extended periods of isolation, the touch deprivation, the loneliness and all that stuff, not only with kids, but adults as well,” Tsilimparis said. “It’s going to take a long time for things to get back to normal.”