How are you feeling about coming out of lockdown?
For so many of us, gradually moving out of lockdown brings with it excitement for getting back to doing more normal (even if socially distanced) activities.
Getting to see friends and family in real life, get back to activities you have had to stop or going for a bite to eat at a cafe or pub are all things we have missed.
However for many people, even though the excitement may be there, there is still different levels of anxiety around the anticipated changes and for these people, it will take some time to adjust.
These anxieties may be more so in people who are more vulnerable to the virus or those who struggle with their mental health.
What are the challenges and what can we do to tackle them?
If we remember back to the beginning of lockdown, we can reflect on how difficult it was for everybody for many different reasons. However, coming out of lockdown, for many may now bring up the same feelings.
We need to accept and be prepared for it to take time to readjust and reconnect with life. It might be quite different to how it once was and this will take time.
Coming out of lockdown arguably may be even more stressful as we will now potentially have more demand on us or expectations from family and friends.
So it is important that we go easy on ourselves. We have never experienced this before and however we are feeling is ok.
Some of our tips to help you during this time are below.
Find a new routine
Developing a routine in any situation is always great for our mental health. Just like you perhaps did as you adjusted to lockdown, beginning to introduce new habits in to your routine to ease you back in to the day to day.
Even though we are moving out of lockdown, remember to still stay well connected with loved ones. Speak to them about how you are feeling. They may also be experiencing these feelings or it can help them to understand where you are at.
If and when you feel ready, maybe you can meet up in a park or open space to gradually begin to re-connect in person, but don’t feel pressured to do this too soon. The phone and video calls are always still available so don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
Taking care of your health
A great way to manage anxiety and stress is to move your body and eat a nutritious diet. Whether that’s a walk around the garden, getting out and about, some chair yoga or an outdoor exercise class, just try to move a little each day.
Exercise releases happy hormones which make you feel better and is great for your overall physical health.
Eating a varied and nutritious diet will not only fuel your body and give you more energy, it will keep you healthy and fighting fit!
Be gentle with yourself
Each and every one of us is unique. The situation is also unique and because of these factors we will all deal with the situation in different ways.
We can only do our best, make the decisions that work for you and don't judge yourself for your choices.
Remember that fear and anxiety in these sort of situations is completely normal and we need to gradually build tolerance to these feelings.
Remember to celebrate your wins (however big or small!) Track what progress you are making and how you are feeling and remember that things will get better.