Unlocking Making You Nervous? 10 Tips To Help You With Post-Lockdown Anxiety
Imagine you’re in a large crowd at the start of a race. You’re excited and feel anxious, maybe a little nervous, but overall you feel good. Then, just as the starting gun fires, people surge forward and push you back. You try to get through the crowd but it’s too difficult; you feel frustrated and angry. Maybe that’s how you feel right now – like you want to be released from your lockdown restrictions but can’t seem to get beyond the crowd.
It’s possible that you feel an assortment of emotions after lockdown restrictions have ended. Despite how much you’re looking forward to some of these things, you may be apprehensive about others. To handle post-lockdown anxiety, follow these guidelines:
It’s also a good idea to focus on the things that you can do for yourself. This might be as simple as getting out of bed and having breakfast, or enjoying your favourite music. If you find that you’re feeling anxious about a certain situation, try writing it down, visualising it and then thinking of ways to make it easier for yourself and your mental health.
For example, if you don’t like being at school during the day because there are too many people there, then you could make plans with friends to hang out at a quieter time of the day – perhaps after school or even in the evening.
Take time to relax
If you’ve been feeling anxious lately then try some relaxation techniques – these will help your mind and body feel calmer and less tense. You could try deep breathing exercises, listening to soft music or using some aromatherapy oils.
Try not to rush these activities; instead, really focus on what feels good for your body. You may even want to try meditation, which can help reduce anxiety by teaching people how to sit with their thoughts without judging them or trying to change them.
Check-in with yourself
It can also be helpful just to take some time for yourself. Try to find some quiet time and just sit with your thoughts. If you’ve been feeling anxious about a certain situation, ask yourself if you have any worries about it. Would there be anything you can do to ease your anxiety? If there is, make a plan and set some goals for yourself.
If not, then try to think about what would make things easier for you in the future. It could be that you need more information or support from your teachers and family members before you try to tackle a certain situation. Or maybe the best thing would be to wait until another day when you feel more prepared and confident.
Be consistent with your healthy habits
Self-care is essential when dealing with fears and anxiety. Make sure you get enough rest, eat right, stay active, and share how you’re feeling. All of these things are as vital today as they had been during the lockdown, and will be crucial in adjusting to our “new normal”.
Make a list
If you’re feeling frustrated because you can’t seem to get a handle on your feelings, try to make a list of things that are making you feel good and bad. Perhaps there is something new in your post lockdown life that makes you feel good, or maybe there is something in your life that makes you feel bad? Maybe there is a person or place where this new thing is making you feel good at the present moment? Maybe there are some activities that are making you feel better?
Try to make connections between what’s making you feel good and what’s making you feel bad. See if these connections will help reduce the frustration. Perhaps the things that make you happy might also help reduce the frustration of being locked down in your community, while the things that make you miserable might also help reduce the frustration of being released from lockdown restrictions.
Even though current lockdown restrictions have been lifted, UK government guidance continues to recommend that individuals continue to be vigilant for signs of COVID-19 infection.
You may have a few questions about what to do in order to stay safe. The key is to know what to do! By being prepared, you will feel more in control and will be less worried. If viewing or listening to the Coronavirus news frequently causes anxiety, consider restricting it to once daily.
It is important to access current information that is accurate and scientifically sound.
Remember that you’re not alone
Many of us especially young people experience anxiety around the idea of re-entering our old life, but it’s important to remember that this isn’t just happening to you. It’s also affecting your friends and family members who are also living in lockdown. They may feel the same as you do, or they may be feeling even worse than you because they don’t have the mental health support of someone they can trust.
Remember that everyone else is going through things too – whether or not they want to talk about it or seek help – and it might be helpful if you talk about your feelings with them too. Talking therapies help people feel less isolated; it can make them feel less alone in their situation and can help them get through the day until lockdown ends.
The Bottom Line
You should now have a better idea of what to do after restrictions ease. Feeling scared, excited, whatever it is, don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal! Simply acknowledging your emotions at your own pace can help you stay in control of them. Let yourself adjust; be patient; stay positive; make the most of what is going right for you at the moment and so much more!
Despite your social anxiety, you can accomplish this.
Chat with someone who you trust if you’re feeling down or in need of help for some mental health problem. No matter how lonely you may feel right now, there is always someone who cares for you.
You need not worry about anything. Even if some feelings of sadness or anxiety persist, you made it to this point, so once things return to normal, you’ll be fine. Keep going!