“Overcoming the Struggle: Expert Advice on How to Motivate Yourself to Step Out of Your House”

## How to Overcome Social Anxiety and Isolation During COVID-19 Lockdown

### Feeling Stuck in a Deep Hole

The COVID-19 lockdown has affected people in different ways. While some have adapted well to the isolation, others, like “Want Out!”, are finding it difficult to leave their homes. Want Out! is an introvert and a homebody who thought the lockdown wouldn’t affect them much. However, they are now struggling to make themselves go out, even for essential activities like grocery shopping or visiting the doctor. One of the main reasons for this is their recent move to a new town, where they don’t have any local friends. Want Out! is retired, so they don’t have any work buddies either. They recognize that joining groups is a good way to meet people, but they are finding it hard to take that step.

### Seeking Solutions

In response to Want Out!’s plea for help, Amy suggests cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) as a useful technique to overcome anxieties. Amy shares her own experience of using CBT to tackle her fear of flying. The first step in CBT is to recognize triggers, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that cause problems. Want Out! has already done this by acknowledging their fear of going out. The next step is to rewire thinking by using other behaviors. Amy suggests starting small and safe, such as letting their husband plan a simple outdoor outing for just the two of them. By gradually exposing themselves to the source of their fear, Want Out! can build up confidence over time. If they are unable to tackle this on their own, a few therapy sessions can be beneficial. Amy also mentions that some augmented reality tools, like the game Pokémon, which Want Out! used to play, might be helpful in their new town.

### Dealing with Materialistic Tendencies in a Relationship

Another reader, ATM, seeks advice regarding their husband’s constant desire for new things. ATM’s husband recently bought a used ATV but now wants to spend $30,000 on a new one. ATM finds this excessive and suggests waiting until they have paid off their school loans before considering a new house. However, their husband gets mad and leaves whenever ATM tries to communicate their concerns. ATM is starting to feel used and wonders if their husband only loves them when they buy him items.

Amy advises ATM to seek marriage and financial counseling. She suggests that there might be underlying issues causing their husband’s spending drive, which he is not disclosing. Counseling sessions can help shed light on the situation and provide guidance on how to address it.

### Taking Responsibility for Neighborly Disputes

In another letter, a reader named “Upset” shares how their neighbor took to Facebook to trash them after they blasted music while working in their garage. Both “Upset” and their neighbor seem to have let their wives handle the conflict, leading Amy to suggest that both men need to “man up” and address the issue themselves. Amy emphasizes the importance of open communication and resolving conflicts directly, rather than involving others.

In conclusion, the COVID-19 lockdown has presented unique challenges for individuals, couples, and neighbors. Seeking therapy, open communication, and taking personal responsibility are key steps in overcoming these challenges and finding solutions.

**Key Points:**

– Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) can help overcome anxieties and fears.
– Start small and gradually expose yourself to the source of your fear.
– Seeking therapy can provide additional support and guidance.
– Marriage and financial counseling can address issues related to materialistic tendencies.
– Open communication and personal responsibility are crucial in resolving conflicts.

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