OK, this is going to be hard work (remember last week’s tolerable steps). And your nervous system is going to be in overdrive.
So have some techniques ready to bring yourself back to calm. Choose ones you can do without anyone noticing (like an orientation, a body scan, some breathing), and some that you can do when grabbing recharge time away (like a at a photo on your phone of one of your favourite places, or a video of a cute dog). Use plenty of these before and after too, so you’re not as stressed going in and can settle yourself afterwards. It’s all part of teaching your nervous system this isn’t so bad and that next time it’ll be a little easier.
And finally, embody that calm, competent self, even if you don’t always feel like them (fake it until you make it vibe). Remember times when you’ve felt completely at ease, and on top of your game – your competent, confident self. Feel that memory in your body, and adopt the same body language. Your body’s state informs your nervous system’s state which informs your brain’s state. So if your body adopts the posture of a calm, confident person, your nervous system moves into a non-alert state, and your brain thinks “I’ve got this; I can do this”.
Oh, and added bonus, other people them pick up on this less “prickly” energy and so feel calmer themselves, making interaction that bit easier. It’s a win-win!