7 Tips on How to Cope with Anxiety Post Covid Lockdown•
Posted on June 03 2020
We have spent the last 3 months in the comfort of our homes, this is a choice that wasn't given to us, and the circumstances surrounding it may be less than ideal. We have remained in the comfort of our homes, safely tucked away in our comfort blanket, living life at a new slower pace.
With lockdown restrictions beginning to lift, what if the thought of the world returning to a state of 'normal', whatever that may be scares you. It brings on levels of anxiety that you haven't had to deal with before.
Does the idea of leaving your own home trigger you? Have you noticed an effect on mental state, where your unable to deal with day-to-day life in the way you have been, with levels of fatigue, stress, depression, and anxiety getting in the way?
Remember - You are not alone; you don't have to brave it by yourself!
Try to remember no one truly knows what this 'normal' looks like and no one knows what the future after lockdown looks like. It is easy to understand that the uncertainty of jobs, schools, childcare, finances, keeping your business afloat or the feelings of needing to adjust to your previous routines are niggling at you. As we reach each new step during the lockdown lift, we will have to learn to grow from the comfortable previous step and we will have new concerns to contend with. But you know what?! This is completely natural!
I have compiled a list of 7 tips to help you navigate through the stages.
1 - TAKE SOME TIME TO YOURSELF
Acknowledging the fact that you need some time to yourself is okay.
One of the hardest things that anyone has had to deal with is the fact that the life they know was ripped out from under their feet almost overnight. Many people have had to adjust to their little people permanently invading their houses and some have had partners who are suddenly at home with them... all day, every day! Hello claustrophobia and learning to adjust to relationships on a new level.
So, what can you do about it?! A couple of quick and easy to implement methods - When the kids have gone to bed you could take yourself for a walk around the block or a bike ride. If you’re like me and your fitness levels aren’t quite there, then there are apps like 'Insight Timer' where you can listen to meditation guides for free. When your batteries are low you need to recharge more than most people, doing this at least once or twice a day you will allow your mind to free a little, your body to recharge and top up your internal batteries. You could listen to this in the bath, when you go to bed or if you’re lucky enough to have sit the kids down for a film, take the opportunity to listen to a short guide.
2 - TALK TO THOSE AROUND YOU
One of the most frequent things I say to people is that you need to talk! Letting these niggles and doubts fester inside is exactly that - allowing them to build and not pass. Having open conversations with those around you not only frees you from the confinement of feeling like you must deal with this on your own, but it also shares your problem.
Remember the age old saying "a problem shared is a problem halved"!
It is also key to remember that people cannot help you if they don't know there is a problem. If you are concerned about returning to the workplace - talk to them about their Covid procedures and find out what they are doing to secure the safety of the staff. If you are concerned about your child returning to school - speak to the head teacher. Find out what measures they have in place, how they have planned the transition for the children etc.
3 - CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
During our weeks of living under our safety blanket we have controlled how we keep our loved ones stay safe from Covid. Let’s think sensibly about this... what can we do going forward to ensure our safety?! This may seem like common sense to some but to others, they may not know where to start. Continue washing our hands frequently, don't touch your face, wear a mask in public, keep a safe distance of at least 2m, carry hand sanitiser, only take journeys or go out in public spaces when you need to, bank online, don't take public transport, clean any shopping or new goods that come into the house, all of the things the government have guided us to.
So much anxiety comes from losing control & fear. Buy continuing to take control of what you can control, you are taking charge. It will bring back some feelings of comfort & control.
4 - STICK TO FACTS, BE MINDFUL OF WHAT NEWS YOU WATCH
It can be easy to find yourself embedded in a barrage of news stories, drowning in a sinking ship, feeling like this will never end and focusing on the despair around you. Quite simply STOP! Feeding the anxiety & stress with more negativity is a recipe for disaster. Whilst it is important to stay informed with the latest news, it can be damaging if you get sucked in.
If you really must stay in touch with the news, be selective. Choose reliable sources and share only what will be helpful to others. Pick certain days or times to look at your new sources and then leave it alone.
5 - STAY CONNECTED
During Covid many of us have kept up to date with loved ones using calls, social media and video chat. Maintaining these relationships throughout the next phases is important to our wellbeing and will stop you and others around you from feeling isolated and alone.
We are truly fortunate to live in an era where technology has advanced to the level it is now.
6 - GET YOURSELF PREPARED
Being prepared is another way for you to take control but also so you stop contemplating about 'what if's'. As the government release each next step, work out how it affects you at both work and at home. Understanding your rights, understand what you need to do during this phase and work on a plan of action. Integrate it step by step. If it gets too much, take a step back!
7 - REMEMBER IT WILL TAKE TIME
Rome wasn't built in a day, neither is adjusting to the biggest pandemic the world has seen in many years. Focus on the present and where you are now, rather than worrying about a future we have no control over. It is OK to acknowledge that you are taking longer to adjust than other people and it’s OK to not be OK!! Some people will throw themselves back into the deep end, other people will want to take an approach of gradual integration.
You can take control back from anxiety and depression, but it's not going to happen overnight. The important thing is that you are acknowledging the feelings and are working on them.
Take care and stay safe!
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