Breaking News
More () »

Group starts 'New Normal' campaign to help people cope with reopening anxiety

Just because the economy is reopening doesn't mean everyone is ready to join in

ST. LOUIS — As hundreds of people rushed out to newly reopened stores in St. Louis and St. Louis County Monday, others were not so sure about going back out in public

"We are just very emotionally raw from all of this," said Christina Weaver, organizer of New Normal campaign.

The reopening came with a new set of challenges, as consumers go from staying at home to coping with unfamiliar changes.

"It's natural to feel anxious at a time like this, given the very real risks that this virus is posing," said Dr. Tim Bono, a psychologist at Washington University.

Dr. Bono said just because the economy is reopening, not everyone will be ready to rejoin.

"Remember that a key contributor to our sense of well being is a sense of autonomy, is prioritizing those behaviors that are still within our control," said Dr. Bono.

RELATED: St. Louisans could soon be dining on public streets

To face the unknown together, the team behind #314Together created a campaign called the New Normal.

"We have the option of coming together during this time, even though we're going to be behind masks, even though were distanced, we can still feel connection as a community," said Weaver.

The goal of the campaign is to encourage people to share their reopening experiences while supporting small businesses.

"It's a way to really help businesses communicate directly to consumers with what they're doing because not everyone is doing the same thing," said Meg Smidt, another organizer.

RELATED: Missouri malls reopen with new COVID-19 measures in place

Businesses also are facing anxiety of their own as they face 'a new normal' that has no end date.

"Everyone has their own barrel of a gun that they're looking down and everyone has their own decisions, so just to be mindful of everyone's anxiety because they're all completely different than your own," said Jordan Bauer, an organizer.

St. Louis and St. Louis County started phase one of reopening May 18.

Read more on reopening in the St. Louis area: 

Before You Leave, Check This Out