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Ready, Set Go? Coping with Reentry Anxiety


Dr. Sheila Forman


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Dr. Sheila Forman, a former practicing attorney, has PhD in psychology, and is a one of the first qualified Mindfulness Based Eating Awareness Training (MB EAT) Instructors in the world. Often characterized as having the mind of a lawyer and the heart of a therapist, Dr. Sheila has devoted over twenty years to helping people address weight and food issues by focusing on the emotional aspects of overeating.

Over 125 million Americans are fully vaccinated. The CDC is loosening mask requirements and shops and restaurants are putting out their welcome mats. We are being invited to step back into the world after a year-long pandemic that made most of us hermits. Returning to “normal” life is easy for some, but for those who are feeling what is being called “Reentry Anxiety” take heart, there are things you can do to make rejoining the human race easier.


Psychologist and Mindful Eating Instructor, Dr. Sheila Forman, is the founder of TAME Your Appetite: The Art of Mindful Eating. She is an expert in helping people cope with their emotions without eating and using a non-diet approach to lose weight and make peace with food. She is also the author of several self-help books, including Do You Use Food to Cope? A Comprehensive 15-Week Program for Overcoming Emotional Overeating, and The Best Diet Begins in Your Mind - Eliminating the Eight Obstacles to Permanent Weight Loss.


Here are 5 tips to help ease your way back in society.


1.    Focus on the Here and Now. Anxiety is created by the thoughts we tell ourself about some event we expect to happen in the future. “What if I join friends for dinner and I get COVID?” To counteract that anxious thought, remind yourself what is true right now. Right now, you are fully vaccinated and so are your friends. The restaurant will be operating at partial capacity so you won’t be around too many people you don’t know, and the likelihood of getting COVID post-vaccination is extremely low, with only 0.06% of fully vaccinated people contracting the virus. (Source)

2.      Take Baby Steps. If going out to a restaurant for dinner feels too frightening, choose another activity that feels safer. Maybe meet a friend at a park for a walk sans mask. Work you way up to more social activities.

3.      Accept the “New Normal.” It is very likely that life you had pre-pandemic will be different now. Your office may be spaced out differently. Cashiers may be surrounded by plexiglass and food servers may be wearing masks and gloves. It can time to get used to all the change. That’s okay. We are all in the same boat. Interestingly, in time you may find that you like some of the changes. Not all change is bad, but all change takes time to get used to.

4.      Accept How You are Feeling. Please don’t judge yourself if you are feeling anxious about being among people. Many people feel the same as you, even if they don’t tell you so. Give yourself permission to feel as you do and to take your time getting together with others. There is no need to rush.

5.      Seek Help. If you feel that the anxiety you are experiencing is too much for you to manage on your own, please seek help. Many psychologists are offering tele-therapy services, so you can get help online if you don’t feel ready to go into an office.


For more information on Dr. Sheila Forman or to book her for an appearance, please go to or call 310-828-8004. 

Contact info: 

2708 Wilshire Blvd., #423

Santa Monica, CA 90403


(cell) 310-995-2529



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