Adapting to life after lockdown
7th Apr 2021
For many people, the lifting of lockdown restrictions can’t come quick enough. The chance to resume ‘normal life’ and reunite with loved ones is really exciting. But this can also bring about a lot of fear and anxiety.
With our lives being constrained for so long, it’s going to be difficult for many people to adjust once restrictions start to ease, with a recent study revealing that stress and anxiety levels in the average adult has risen by 50% during lockdown.
If you are becoming increasingly worried about the return to normal life, it is important to know that this is normal and there are so many others who feel the same way. We’ve sourced some great advice about how you can handle the coming months in a way that is comfortable for you.
Returning to work
With the Stay-at-Home order relaxed and the hospitality industry starting to reopen, more people will be expected back in their workplace. Fears surrounding public transport and social distancing will be a common thought. If you are anxious about heading back to work, it is important to speak to your manager or a trusted colleague so they can work out how best to support you.
Remember, workplaces who welcome back staff must be COVID secure at all times, so touch base with your manager to talk through the precautions they have in place. If you would like further advice about returning to work, take a look at Citizens Advice for helpful guidance.
Celebrate the small wins
Lockdown has resulted in many of us creating and sticking to a certain routine and although it may feel like Groundhog Day for some, for others it’s what makes them feel the most at ease. Adjusting to a new routine or pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can be difficult, so it’s important to give yourself a pat on the back for what seems like the smallest of tasks. You could pop into a different shop for your essentials, venture out to get a takeaway coffee or meet a friend for a walk in a quiet area. Every step is progress!
Friends and family may be rushing to get social plans in the calendar but don’t worry, you don’t have to do the same. Your social life doesn’t have to be as busy as it was pre-lockdown. Prioritise plans according to how comfortable they make you feel. If you feel safe heading to a friend’s garden with a small group of people - great! If you feel uneasy going for a meal in a busy restaurant – that’s ok too! So don’t feel pressure to say yes to everything, you can tackle this at your own pace.
Communication is key
Try to share your feelings with friends and family and keep an open dialogue. If your loved ones are aware of your concerns it will become easier for them to support you. You might even find that someone is feeling the same way! If you don’t feel comfortable talking with friends and family, there are platforms where you can find support from peers. Mental Health Charity, Mind, have an online support community where you can connect with others who can relate to what you are going through.
Taking time to care for your mental and physical health is incredibly important. Focus on keeping a balanced diet, a good sleeping pattern and doing regular exercise as they all play a huge part in controlling stress and anxiety levels.
Spending quality time doing the things you love can have a really positive impact on your wellbeing. Watch a few more episodes of your favourite show, get stuck into a great book or take the dogs on an extra-long walk. Whatever you choose to do, it can give you a welcome break from the worries and concerns you may be feeling. Head to Silver Cloud, a digital mental health platform, for more advice on self-care.
Help and support
If you are concerned about life after lockdown and the impact it’s having on your mental health, remember that there are people and organisations who can support you. Reaching out to loved ones or finding someone to talk to can help you through a difficult time. Here are a few organisations that can provide more information and a safe space to communicate:
We understand that mental health can affect your finances, so we’re always here to support our customers. If you need to speak to our team about any issues you’re having, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Find out more here.
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