Hey everyone. How are you doing?
So, today, I wanted to discuss post-lockdown anxiety because it’s a real thing and I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the ways I feel it can be managed.
A few weeks ago, I took my children to the park and the play area was re-opened, which was a relief to see after months of locked gates and caution notices. I guess everyone had the same idea because the park was full and there were no clear signs of people social distancing. Naturally, the kids were excited about the possibility of going back into the park to enjoy playing on swings, slides and roundabouts again, but in that moment, I realised that I wasn’t quite ready to face the crowd – and that’s okay, by the way.
After months of being in lockdown, I assumed that I’d be ready to return to some normality and routine back in my life once the restrictions were lifted, but when it came to the crunch, I realised that I was slightly anxious. Let’s face it, nothing looks the same as it did before lockdown – we can barely recognise family and friends as everyone’s wearing masks. Speaking of which, some people have turned them into cool and cute fashion statements, which takes the edge off the actual impact of this virus, but at the other end of the scale, I know people that have been deeply impacted.
For me, I think the thing that I’m probably most anxious about is being in social situations again, like returning to work, my kids returning to school, and my priorities lie in protecting myself and my loved ones.
Let’s do this together.
The number one thing for me is not to yield to the feelings of pressure that come with the easing of lockdown. With the re-opening of gyms, bars, restaurants etc. Yes, they’re things that I’ve been looking forward to enjoying again and we’re in a much more controlled environment, but there’s no rush to head straight back out there and there’s no shame in holding back, either.
If feelings of anxiety arise, it might help to talk to a friend or family member to let them know how you’re feeling and you might be surprised that your feelings are shared and understood.
Be honest with yourself about which situations you’re feeling most anxious about and consider what you can do to reduce your anxiety. For instance, if the thought of going on buses or taking a flight , worries you, could you think of an alternative? Maybe, take a taxi rather than a bus (until you’re more comfortable) or going on a UK short break rather than vacationing abroad.
One of the things that I said to my children during the lockdown was that when things were better, I was looking forward to taking them on day trips (socially distanced) with other family members and even to McDonalds again. Post-lockdown, I realise that giving us something positive to focus on, massively reduced any lurking anxieties. So, looking forward is a great way to re-align your thinking if you’re experiencing post-lockdown anxiety.
Last but not least of importance in managing post-lockdown anxiety is, maintaining your wellbeing. You can read my previous post on mindful matters for some useful tips on this.
I hope that this post has been helpful.
Have a great weekend.