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Managing Your Feelings Around Lockdown Easing

Published on 21st July 2020

For some people the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions heralds the opportunity to see friends and family, play sports or get back to work.  For others, however, the idea of coming out of lockdown and dealing with the uncertainty of what will happen next, can be a very real worry, even though they may be keen for restrictions to be lifted.

You may find that some days you feel excited and relieved, and then the next day anxiety sets in and you feel unsure about this “new normal” that everyone is talking about.  Your feelings may change more than once, and that’s ok, there really is no “right” way to deal with this situation.

Some common worries include:

Anxiety that changes may increase your risk of contracting the virus, particularly if you have been shielding.

Frustration when you see other people perhaps enjoying more freedom that you.

Conflicted because you long to resume your social activities but feel it is wrong to do so.

Powerless as you have no control over what is happening or how things are being handled.

Remember there is no “normal” response to this situation and it’s ok to accept that your feelings keep changing.

So, how can you help yourself?

  • Talk to someone you can trust.  It can be hard for some people to start a conversation, but many people find sharing their experiences extremely helpful.  If your anxiousness is affecting your daily life, then speak to a professional who can help you develop strategies to deal with the inevitable changes that will occur.
  • Control what you can.  Make a list of the things that you can influence and concentrate your energy on those.
  • Pace yourself.  Don’t let other people dictate the pace.  Discuss your concerns with others and do as much, or as little, as you feel able to cope with.
  • Routines are important.  Staying connected to people and taking regular exercise are just as important now as they were at the start of lockdown.
  • Accept that the end of lockdown can be as hard for some people as it was the start.  Expect it to take time to reconnect with your life.

The “new normal” is going to be our reality for the foreseeable future and, for most of us, this will equate to doing what we feel we can deal this week, or even just today.

Gently remind yourself that you can only do your best with what you have today.

 

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