It’s feeling like a particularly strange and confusing stage of the pandemic?! Yikes!

Mental Health Reopening Uncertainty and Misinformation

A: Indeed. Welcome to the #pandexit.

Pandexit (n.) The final phase of a pandemic. The messy, halting, confusing labyrinth we must navigate to get from where we are to our new normal.

Nerdy Girls Dr. Malia Jones and Dr. Christine Whelan, who are also colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, teamed up to define and describe the pleasures and perils of our current moment.

Highlights of their hot-off-the-press #pandexit commentary (link below):

➡️ We’re collectively riding an emotional rollercoaster.

One moment we’re agonizing over hard decisions such as “is it safe to return to in-person worship?” The next, we’re crying tears of joy reuniting with our newly vaccinated best friend. The result? A very messy emotional whiplash.

🤔 Properly naming this moment can help us cope better.

The ability to name emotions facilitates effective responses to them – a concept scientists call “emotional granularity.” Analogously, naming this moment in the pandemic’s trajectory can help us successfully surf its choppy emotional waters.

🤗 The “Three Es of Emotion” can help us stay on solid emotional ground.

Steadying strategies include (1) empathizing with others; (2) ending ruminations over small decisions before making yourself crazy; and (3) escaping away from the information firehose to combat overwhelm.

A final note:

Love the word pandexit? Let’s make it a thing. Spread the word to help us honor this liminal, messy, and important time for us all. As always, we Nerdy Girls will be here to help you stay safe and stay sane throughout.

Those Nerdy Girls


Drs. Jones and Whelan’s commentary

The Three Es of Emotion – credit to Drs. Geeta Menon and Ellie Kyung’s related Harvard Business Review article

Image credit:
Mary-Jo Valentino and Peter Alfano

Link to original FB post