Do you feel this way, too? Getting back into groups and spending time with people IRL is awkward.

As we open up from the COVID lockdown, getting the vaccine is opening doors, but for whom and how? Family first, right? Small groups, then larger.

But I don’t know how to do this anymore. I’m exhausted by large groups and noisy environments. I keep my mask on until I’m told it is okay to take it off and have it on the ready.

I’ve lost touch with much that I took for granted. For example, clothing. What do you wear now? Oh, that outfit. It is SO pre-pandemic!  I don’t know what the styles are now, and honestly, I really don’t care. I’d rather stay in my slippers or my crocs.

See me in person, OMG, I have grey hair. Otherwise, I don’t look a lot different. At least, that is what I think….how would I know?

This is pretty superficial, a bit of social awkwardness, but what many are experiencing as we emerge from lockdowns is not. We are seeing huge volumes of mental distress, children not able to return to what school had been, and families trying to deal with children still at home while the company says they have to be back in the office. The amount of suicide among young people is heart breaking, not to mention eating disorders, depression and drug use.

Businesses cannot ignore the changes, the awkwardness that the pandemic has inflicted.

Having conversations with your team about what feels awkward, may open up a path to feeling comfortable again in person, without masks, social distancing and super hygiene.

But until we all get vaccinated, that is a pipe dream.

Let’s give each other grace in this time of transition. Initiate the conversation and listen with an open heart.