Richard Slatcher, a professor in the psychology department with the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, was recently quoted in a BBC article about retraining the brain to be social again.
Because socializing came to a near standstill during the pandemic, people might need to retrain their brains to socialize with others, experts say.
Slatcher and his colleagues’ research implies the significant loss of everyday social contact has been partially offset by the amplified strength of immediate family bonds and close friendships. Part of the social readjustment may be about learning how to reallocate time and energy away from family and back to friends, colleagues and acquaintances, without losing the closeness built up with loved ones.
People don’t need to rush to brush off the awkwardness, either. On the bright side of the drawn-out process of vaccine rollout is that “that slowness of this process is going to aid in readjustment,” Slatcher said.
“Some of the stresses to come, like entertaining guests in one’s home again, will be enjoyable stress,” he said.
The article continued to emphasize the importance of readjusting to more “normal” life gradually.