What we as a nation, as a planet, have been through in the past 12 months is unprecedented. Alongside the risk of catching a novel virus, the uncertainty around jobs and finances, social and physical isolation, zoom call fatigue – a complete shift in how we live and work – the pandemic has not only affected us physically, but has impacted mental health and wellbeing.
Boris Johnson recently announced the government’s “Road Map” out of lockdown, with some milestones for us as a nation to look forward to, with 21st June seen as the “light at the end of the tunnel” where we will, finally and hopefully, return to the new “normal”.
However, the countdown to June 21st may prompt people to believe this is a deadline for them to “Glow Up”, and this is usually related to weight loss, and how we look. After one of the hardest years in modern history, we think we should be kinder to ourselves and focus on our mental health “Glow Up” instead.
What can I do to combat post-lockdown anxiety?
If you are nervous at the thought of lockdown measures easing, the Mental Health Organisation have compiled some useful tips on how to cope with the fear and anxiety:
Control what can be controlled – having an action plan for managing things you find difficult may help.
Pace yourself – take your own time and also understand that others may go at a different pace also. Don’t let others force you to take part in activities that you don’t want to, but also don’t allow this to become an excuse to not push yourself, to reconnect with friends and socialise safely for example – as this will have benefits on your mental health.
Build up tolerance – try and do something that challenges you everyday!
Vary your routines – expose yourself to different situations slowly. For example if a walk at one time of the day is very busy, make sure to walk at a quieter time next time.
Talk to work – if you feel your anxiety is impacting your work, speak to your manager or colleague you trust, or HR department.
The Mental Health Foundation also advise that to cope with uncertainty of lockdown easing we must: focus on the present, bring things that are certain back into focus and talk to people you trust. Head here to read more.
We all had to adapt to a new way of living as we locked down and adapting once again will take time – so it is important to show yourself compassion and patience. Head to the download section in the side bar to read about some other useful tips to nurture and protect your mental health and wellbeing as lockdown eases.