More people are back in the parks, traffic on the roads has increased, many non essential shops and businesses are now open, and for many workers their day-to-day lives have resumed after weeks of lockdown.
For some people the easing of lockdown restrictions has been welcomed with something to celebrate; a sign of hope that we are making small steps towards normality again.
But for many the idea of stepping out of their front doors in to this new, different world is a source of stress and anxiety.
Coronavirus is still here.. Safety measures and social distancing put in place to protect us from the virus has felt unusual and unsettling for practically everyone.
“Now we’re told that we can venture into the scary outside world, slowly to start to get our ‘old life’ back. In reality our old lives has gone and we are rebuilding a new one. Many have lost their jobs and are anxious about meeting their financial commitments.
Now we’re being offered more freedom, it brings a new wave of anxieties for some. The storm is subsiding, but the aftermath is unknown and ongoing.
This raises challenging questions about how we are going to live and re-enter into the world.
Many are feeling mixed emotions, from excitement to anxiety and from freedom to self imprisonment.
If the easing of lockdown is causing feelings of fear, anxiety and uncertainty I have some advice and strategies to help you.
Deal with each worry one at a Time
If you are going back to previous employment you can contact them ahead of your scheduled day back to find out what measures they have in place for your safety. For example are they providing hand sanitiser and face masks? Have they implemented social distancing?
Shopping is something that can be quite stressful at the best of times. However with the one way systems and queuing measures in place it takes a lot longer during a time when emotions are already heightened. Plan ahead. Go to stores where you know queues aren't so long. Think about the time which is more quieter and minimal queues.
Think about what you can and can’t control
Create a list of what you can and can't control. Many people find that their CAN list is more than their can't list. Very EMPOWERING!!!
Think about things that you enjoyed doing before lockdown and make sure to include these once again, when appropriate.
Many people have FOUND MORE FAMILY TIME. Make sure to schedule this in once again. Family time is AMAZING for all to feel bonded, secure and not alone.
Create calmer feelings
The best way forward is to try not to think about what is causing you anxiety as much and opt for thoughts that help to create an inner calm. Listen to music that puts a smile on your face and lifts your mood. Step out into nature for a walk and take long, deep breaths. This helps your mind to relax and let go.
Look out for the positives
Finding the simplest of positives can help make the transition out of lockdown more smooth. Walking to work where possible and look at all the flowers and hear the birds singing. Having a social distanced picnics with friends you have not seen is an amazing time to reconnect and establish those relationships.
Think about positive changes this has Brought
We have all lived through an UNPRECEDENTED time and we can use this time to review our previous lives and set new boundaries. In terms of what you will and won't accept in life, now. This has shown us that time is of the essence and here and now are very important not to be taking for granted. This is an AMAZING ACHIEVEMENT . We have passed though such MIGHTY CHANGE in such a small space of time and we could not have fully prepared ourselves for what was to come.
12 weeks ago we would never have imagined spending months at home, with schools and shops closed, and unable to visit family or friends.
We have ADAPTED to this change. We have found new ways to cope, to survive. We have found new things to appreciate.
One small step at a time
Anxieties around the lockdown easing are completely valid and understandable. We have lived through such a challenging time to the way we have known before. Many have lost loved ones, marriages, holidays and celebrations that they were in the process of planning not to mention thousands losing their jobs.
Be kind to yourself and there are many ways to self refer online for talking therapies.
Remember YOU SHINE BRIGHTEST