The easing of lockdown and restrictions on 19th July has been a relief to many with the Covid 19 outbreak being hard on all and with everyone having different experiences, especially those who have been shielding. So, although you’re happy restrictions are easing, just remember it’s also okay if you are feeling worried about going back to something more “normal” with the loosening of restrictions.
The term “reopening anxiety” has been commonly used and feelings of post-lockdown anxiety are likely to pass with time, as we get used to the “new normal”. However, it’s also important to know that it’s okay to have anxiety and we must to do what we can to take care of our mental health.
We have put together some tips on how to take care of your mental health as things change, and how to make the adjustment easier:
1. Go at your own pace – Take it step by step, only do what is comfortable for you when easing back into socialising, there is no need to rush.
2. Plan social occasions – Uncertainty can be hard to manage, so make plans to avoid this; it will make you feel more comfortable and confident in what you are doing, even if it’s just knowing how many people will be there and timings.
3. Do not avoid things entirely – Avoiding the things that make us anxious will make it harder in the longer term to face our fears. Try manageable targets first of all, like meeting one person for a catch up outside and gradually building from there.
4. Tell someone how you feel – It can help to confide in a friend or family member, so they can support you to overcome your anxieties. It’s easy to feel isolated or lonely and chances are someone we know feels exactly the same, open up to someone you trust or visit support networks and organisations who are on hand every day to speak to.
5. Only visit trusted sources to get information and guidance – As we know, the internet has lots of conflicting and confusing information about COVID-19, the best thing to do is stick to trusted sources like GOV.UK and NHS Covid-19 pages to get the most up to date information and ignore the rest.
6. Relax/get enough sleep – Make regular time for yourself to relax and find a routine, consistent going to bed and waking up times can make a big difference.
7. Write down your thoughts – If you’re feeling worried, keeping a diary could help you explore your feelings, and remind yourself of the progress you have made.
Further Support and Guidance
Visit the NHS website and also find out more about their mental health helplines.
Visit Lets Talk Loneliness Campaign to talk to someone and provide you guidance around this topic.