The recent announcements of the roadmap for coming out of lockdown will have created a mixed reaction for many people. While there is a sense of relief for many it will also create a sense of uncertainty and possibly anxiety. The covid-19 pandemic has created a situation that has been unprecedented and prolonged. If two years ago, we had been told how 2020-21 was going to be, it would have been beyond our imagination.
Our own experiences of lockdown will be individual and unique even in households where more than one person is living. Our personal circumstances may have changes through work, furlough or redundancy, we may have loved ones who have died during this time, we may have been under the pressures from home schooling. Whatever our own unique circumstances are, universally our lives will have changed in some shape or form and invariably have become ‘smaller’.
You may have experienced anxiety to some degree prior to the pandemic or you may have notice that you feel more anxious at the thought and expectations with the announcements of the roadmap and as you begin to consider what this means for you and those around you.
Don’t feel you have to do everything at once. It will take time for levels of social interaction working arrangements and general adjustments and doing this as gradually as possible will be helpful.
- Think about what you can control and focus on this rather than those things that are out of your control.
- Share with someone you feel able to confide in – acknowledging this can help and saying it out loud can make a difference.
- It’s ok to say no to things, or to shorten the amount of time you commit to something.
- If seeing too many people at once feels overwhelming, arrange to see a friend or family member first, and ideally someone who you may be able to share that it feels a little tricky.
- If you are feeling nervous or anxious the following techniques can be helpful to help
- (add grounding techniques)
- Try to notice if it’s the anticipation of something being different or the event itself. (ie is it before, during or after) understanding if it’s all or part of this will help to know how to approach it.
- Try not to think too far ahead; think about one day at a time. This can really help if you have a tendency to catastrophize or overthink. Each time you notice this happening, say to yourself “I am not going to think about that right now. “Right now I need to focus on…”.
- Ensure that you also have time to focus on other things you enjoy doing
- If you are returning to work, ask your employee how they will support you. Be clear about your own needs but also what the organisation is expecting so you can prepare.
- For many reasons you may not want things to be as they were prior to the pandemic. This past year may have presented the opportunity for you to do some commitment cropping and you may want a different balance to how you spend your time.
There is support you can access if the situation feels overwhelming or you would like some additional support at this time: