A lot of us have struggled with anxiety throughout lockdown- and it’s understandable that endless hours stuck inside will lead to more anxiety and overthinking. And for those working on the frontline, anxiety has been even worse. While the easing of restrictions is a fantastic thing- it can cause a lot of anxiety about our health, new ways of doing things, or suddenly being back in a social setting. Here are 5 ways to deal with post-lockdown anxiety and help manage worries as we return to “normality”. 1. Take it slow Like with anything that makes you feel anxious- take baby steps to make you feel as comfortable as possible. If you feel overwhelmed at the idea of clubbing, go for a drink with a friend at a pub. Or if you’re worried about indoor spaces, stick to outside meet-ups until you feel safe. Take it slow and don’t forget that this is a big deal- no one expects you to go back to “normal” after such a crazy year and it’s okay to take your time. 2. Choose who you’re around This goes for any time- but you should always be surrounding yourself with people you trust. As things start to open, surround yourself with friends and family with the same values as you. If you’re worried about catching covid- surround yourself with others who don’t take risks. Make sure you’re with people you know and who will make you feel as comfortable as possible in new social situations as you ease yourself back in. 3. Prioritise what you want to do If you’re having trouble with post-lockdown anxiety, choose what you want to do and stick with that until you’re more comfortable going out. Your priority could be enjoying time with friends, meeting up with your boyfriend, or visiting family. If you don’t want to do everything all at once- that’s okay! Ease yourself in by choosing what means the most to you and stick to that until you feel safe. 4. Stay safe One of the simplest ways to manage post-lockdown anxiety is to look after yourself. Use hand sanitiser and don’t take great risks. Wash your hands and keep your distance- and remember the hygiene rules that have kept you safe in the past few months. Sometimes it can help us feel less anxious by just taking a little bit of action- so if you’re excited to go to the pub, but you’re worried about covid- do the little things you can to protect yourself. Take action that allows you to comfortably enjoy yourself. 5. Think through your anxieties What is it about post-lockdown life that worries you? Are you nervous about travel? Do you want to stay away from big crowds? If you can think through and pin-point your anxieties, you can understand how to solve them. You’ll know where you want to go when restrictions ease, and how to understand your exact concerns. This could involve chatting to someone about your concerns- and finding a way to battle them- or just writing down your worries to put them in perspective. By understanding your exact anxieties, it is much easier to tackle them.
When lockdown restrictions are eased, it is inevitable that we will all feel a bit anxious getting back into the world. And that is completely normal! Remember to check in with yourself about what you’re comfortable with- and don’t forget that everything will work itself out. You don’t have to do everything at once until you want to- and one day Covid anxiety will seem like a distant memory!