The last few months have been the strangest and weirdest we have ever known!
Now with some semblance of summer arriving and the acceleration of the remaining phases, a gradual return to a normality is looming. However, this new normality is very different and something we still have to adapt to. It’s okay to be a little (or a lot) worried, but there are ways to make the transition to life after lockdown a little less abrupt.
Set your own pace
Life after lockdown is going to be unique and the pace at which everyone returns to it will be too. Your friends and family might be perfectly comfortable to resume activities, even as you continue to be wary or vice versa and that is absolutely okay. There is no single way that is right to react and once everyone is abiding by the rules returning to our new normal will happen at different paces for us all. There is no need to dive straight back into your pre-coronavirus life if you are not yet ready. Take your time and advance at your own pace.
You can read more about the current restrictions in Ireland here.
Start with small steps
For the last few months most of our regular activities have been cancelled and the lockdown restrictions have involved spending more time at home and in our local areas. Now, that these measures are being lifted there are opportunities for outings or trips. However, it is totally natural if you feel cautious about suddenly being surrounded by groups of people after weeks of being told to avoid exactly that. If you are nervous about being in crowded places, take gradual steps. Instead of immediately heading directly to a large shopping centre, start by going to local smaller shops and build your way up to busier and more crowded areas as your comfort levels grow.
One of the best ways to ensure you are not only comfortable but also safe is to set boundaries. When meeting up with friends, choose those who you know will make you relaxed. If you know friends of yours are choosing to ignore the restrictions – something you are not comfortable with – then meeting up with them will be more stressful rather than enjoyable. To save yourself the unnecessary concern have clear boundaries in place for yourself and what you are comfortable with. Hopefully as time passes you can extend your personal limits as well as the general ones.
Plan but do not obsess
If you are worried about resuming normality, make specific plans in advance. This will allow you to have control in a situation that at times might seem entirely out of your hands. Remember that you cannot manage the actions of those around you and stressing yourself out about other people will not change their behaviour. However, you can choose your own actions and make deliberate and responsible decisions for yourself.
Maintain confidence in yourself
Maybe friends around you seem determined that the social distancing rules or the group size limits do not apply to them, but be confident in yourself that you are doing the right thing. For those who have lost people to the virus or who are working to protect family and friends – particularly vulnerable ones – it can be incredibly frustrating to watch those around carry on their lives as if the virus is a thing of the past. You can only be held accountable for your own actions so do not let others make you regret taking the right path.
Are you worried about life after lockdown?