Are you feeling nervous or anxious about going back out into the world again as lockdown restrictions begin to be eased and relaxed? If you are, you are certainly not alone. Many experts are calling this, ‘post-lockdown anxiety’, and just as perhaps we were fearful of entrapment when lockdown began, many people are now experiencing the same feelings, as life is about to change again, and are worried about what comes next. Many of us have got used to the ‘new normal’ and have actually adjusted to it and embraced some of the benefits and positives including working from home and not having a daily commute, the slower pace of life, the daily exercise of walking, running or cycling and having the children around. This has been our comfort zone and for many opting out of the pressures of the outside world has come as a relief with time available to pursue hobbies, read, sleep and reflect. In the latest blog from Becoming Aware, we look at this in more detail, including how you might be feeling and how to cope.
How do you detect you are experiencing post-lockdown anxiety?
Recurring thoughts or worries about the future
Difficulty in sleeping
Feeling unsettled or tense
Abnormal obsession with checking the news and/or social media about the COVID-19 situation
Possible panic attacks
Unhelpful coping strategies including alcohol, drugs, smoking, over-eating and self-medication
Finding reasons or making excuses not to go out
Avoiding connecting or meeting with others
Not able to focus or concentrate
Are you anxious and fearful of the new normal?
The new scenario is once again fear of the unknown, anxiety of being in public spaces or of actually leaving the house. You may be thinking that lockdown is being lifted too early but you also may feel nervous about returning to your more normal life. After being confined to your home and being inside for such a long time, it may feel very strange to go outside again as you will have lost confidence in the things that you haven’t done for a time, things that were an everyday occurrence including travelling on public transport and going back into the workplace.
How to cope with anxieties after lockdown
· Take 1 step at a time
· Gradually accustom yourself to the new normal
· Don’t expect too much of yourself – be kind and gentle
· Accept and understand that it will take time to adjust
· Talk to a trusted friend or family member
· Eat healthily and do regular exercise
· Ease yourself back into life
· Focus on positive coping strategies
Focus on today and don’t worry about the next few months
It’s important to realise that just as it was OK to worry and be anxious about coping with lockdown, it is equally OK to be fearful about the next phase, the re-emergence from lockdown. Your brain may have registered a potential threat and sent out a warning. It will take time to readjust, life is going to get busier and noisier and what we are going back to may be quite different and not what we used to know. Don’t think about what it will be like in the next few months; just focus on today.
How Becoming Aware can help you
Karen Hoad from Becoming Aware is a qualified and experienced Emotional Healing & Wellbeing Practitioner. She has vast experience inmental, emotional and physical health issues and works with people to release their emotions. If you are struggling with returning to the new normal,call Karen on 07766 427966 for a free without obligation chat or email.