BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — As more students head back into the classroom and people return to the workplace — the thought of socializing in-person again can be stressful.

A local doctor we spoke with says the stressful and anxious feelings are totally normal. Dr. Sourav Sengupta from the Univerity at Buffalo’s medical school says many of us have been largely out of practice socializing. Bosses and teachers should help workers and students gradually get back to normal.

It’s similar to when you take an extended amount of time off from working out.

“I’m always a bit silly, I haven’t run in a year and say, ‘I’m going to go out and run five miles,’ and it’s so painful and it’s so challenging and I’ll stop halfway through and it’s not a great experience. So I think we need to learn a little bit about that other side of our lives. We need to do this gradually,” said UB Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Pediatrics Dr. Sourav Sengupta.

Dr. Sengupta says anxiety serves a purpose in our daily lives — it warns us of danger.

But if those alarm bells never seem to ease enough for you to do what you need and want to do, it may be a good idea to talk to someone about that anxiety.

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If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, help is available now. Erie County’s Crisis Hotline is available 24 hours a day: 716-834-3131. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available 24 hours a day: Simply call or text 988, or chat at 988lifeline.org. For more information, visit CrisisServices.org.

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