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Managing post-lockdown anxiety

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Updated 19th July 2021 - We recommend the coronavirus page on the Government website for more up to date information.

The lockdown roadmap is underway, and the country is reopen once again; from the return to nightclubs and sporting events to the end of mandatory mask-wearing. For many, the return to life as we knew it or a new-normal is exciting and hopeful.  But for others, life after lockdown might bring feelings of anxiety, stress or worries about the unknown. Everyone and every situation are unique so it’s important to not judge ourselves too harshly and appreciate that the end of lockdown might be hard for some.

Set your own pace

If you’re feeling anxious around meeting people again or returning to activities, set your own pace. Small adjustments such as meeting with one friend outdoors or indoors may feel more comfortable at first than meeting up with groups of friends straight away.  Add activities and events back into your routine gradually at a pace that you feel comfortable with.

Plan ahead

Think of the types of situations that you feel most anxious about and plan things you can do in this situation to help ease your concerns. If, for example, you’re anxious around taking public transport could you plan an alternative route or travel at a quieter time of day. If meeting friends outside in the park, you could opt for a smaller local park rather than a busier area. Take a protective travel kit with you. Containing a reusable mask, hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes, you’ll be prepared for many situations. Read our BBQ and picnic guide for more information about staying safe when socialising.

 

Ask for help

You may have spent the past year working from home or waiting to return to work, and for some thinking about returning to work may cause anxiety. Your employer should have made changes to your workplace to ensure it is Covid-secure, it may put your mind at ease to find out what those changes are and what to expect when you go back in. You can read the government guidance on workplace safety here.

Speak to your manager or a trusted colleague to explain any concerns you may have and to see if there are any adjustments that can be made to make you feel more comfortable.

If you are struggling with your mental health it is important to speak to your doctor. You may have a phone consultation to decide the best steps for you, this might be counselling, medication, talking therapy or a combination. 

Here are some other mental health resources you may find useful:

NHS

Mind

Time To Change

Mental Health Foundation

Stay safe

Ensure you’re still following government guidance on social distancing, washing your hands regularly and wearing a face covering. Take hand sanitiser with you whenever you go out and reapply regularly.

Look after yourself

Make sure you take time for yourself by staying active, eating well and exercising regularly.  Be kind to yourself, take small steps and don’t rush into doing things you don’t feel comfortable with.

References

www.mentalhealth.org.uk/coronavirus/looking-after-your-mental-health-we-come-out-lockdown
www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/news/coronavirus-and-your-health/coming-out-of-lockdown-anxiety
www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19 
www.patient.info/news-and-features/why-its-normal-to-feel-anxious-about-a-post-covid-future