The roadmap out of lockdown has just been announced. While it may feel like everyone else is celebrating, don’t worry if you are feeling a bit anxious about life after Lockdown.
We’ve been in lockdown a long time, the guts of a year really. In a lot of ways Lockdown life has become a new normal. Just like it took a minute to adapt to life confined to our homes, it will take a minute to get used to life after. It is a nerve wrecking concept to say the least.
The best thing you can tell yourself right now if you are feeling a little anxious, is that you are being given the option to do more. The benefit of this is that unlike being asked to stay at home when going in to lockdowns, you can go at your own pace when restrictions start to ease.
Take this article as your easing of restrictions survival guide. Refer back to this anytime you are feeling a little anxious about the prospect of life returning to “normal.”
Go at your own pace
While everyone may be jumping up and down with joy at the idea of restrictions being eased, it is perfectly understandable if you are not feeling quite as excited.
We have been in lockdown for a long time and it is hard to remember life outside of it at this stage. We have had so much more time and space to relax. To be with ourselves in our own little bubble. We have developed a comfort zone and leaving any sort of comfort zone is bound to cause some level of anxiety.
When restrictions start being eased, go at your own pace. Block out what everyone else is doing and don’t run before you can walk! If you move too fast and commit to too many social commitments etc. you are only going to freak yourself out more! Only take on what you feel comfortable with and know you can handle.
If you feel you need a day at home, take it. It is perfectly fine to cancel events you agreed to. Going at your own pace will make adapting so much easier and enjoyable. You do you and don’t worry about everyone else!
Don't forget everything you have learnt during Lockdown
Lockdown was an unprecedented time for many reasons but also in the way that we don’t usually get this amount of time on our own. With everything shut down and events cancelled we had so much time to learn who it is we really are and what it is we actually enjoy doing. Without the pressure of following the crowd and our minds being clouded with work, assignments and extra curricular activities.
We spent a lot of time with ourselves in our own little bubble during lockdown. Don’t forget all that you have learnt once lockdown ends. Continue doing the things you enjoy doing. Continue being the person you discovered you were during lockdown and spend time with those you really care about.
Being sure of who you are and what you enjoy doing will make for a much more enjoyable life when restrictions ease. This is one of the rare occasions you can un ironically say thanks covid!
Talk to your friends about life after Lockdown
While everyone may appear super excited about getting out of Lockdown, if you talk to your friends you might discover that there are a few people going through the same thing as you! Having a friend that feels the same way will make departing Lockdown that little bit easier. Most people have grown to love their comfort zone this year, so naturally people are going to be nervous about going back to the way things were before, even if they may not be voicing it.
Making a friend aware of how you are feeling will be a big help. A problem shared is a problem halved after all. It will also take the pressure off feeling like you have to commit to things you don’t feel ready to yet.
Whatever you do, don’t force yourself to go along with everything your friends are doing when you don’t feel ready to.
Nothing is going to change overnight
The thing that is causing people the most anxiety about life after lockdown is the concept of everything just bam! going right back to the way it was in March 2020. We all lived very busy lives, many of us are under a severe amount of pressure. The idea of a lockdown was a welcome change for many people initially. We were all screaming out for the world to stop for a minute. Be careful what you wish for!
The restrictions will be eased slowly, allowing time to adapt. Nothing is going to happen overnight. When you stop and think about what is causing your anxiety, you will likely realise it is not the actual easing of restrictions, but the thought of going back to a stressful, busy life. A life that was far too much for anyone to handle.
We have learnt so much in this past year about the importance of down time and rest and will likely take that with us in to the future, after COVID has moved on.
We aren’t going back to normal, but rather close to normal. By being mindful of how you are feeling, taking with you everything you have learnt this year and ensuring you move at a speed that suits you you are going to make it out of this just fine! You got this!
Are you experiencing leaving- lockdown anxiety?