Post-Lockdown Anxiety

Post-lockdown anxiety

May 22, 2020

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Adjusting into lockdown was a scary and worrying time for many, but now coming out of lockdown and returning back to some form of normality has brought about a new wave of anxiety for a large amount of the public.

Here are some tips on steps you can take to reduce the amount of post-lockdown anxiety you are suffering with and how to manage it.

Acknowledge how you’re feeling.

Try to figure out what exactly is worrying you and potentially triggering your anxiety. Addressing the root problem can help you manage your anxiety and not let it escalate to higher levels. You can challenge the thinking around the problem and overcome the stressor. If you are worried about losing work:life balance on return to the office, make a plan to ensure you stick to working times so evenings can be filled with ‘you’ time.

After spending such a long time isolated away from everyone but household members, returning to the office can be a scary idea. Speak to your manager or a colleague in HR to see what the plan is for returning to the office. Raise your concerns and offer ideas on how to keep the office safe for you and your colleagues. Focus on the fact that you will see all your colleagues again after months apart, think of the socialisation as a positive rather than something scary!

 

This is an opportunity to permanently change your lifestyle.

For many of us, Coronavirus and lockdown have flagged up many issues with the way we lived before. Whether it was moving too fast-paced, not having enough time to focus on yourself or something else, incorporate your new lifestyle habits and changes into your post-lockdown routine. In regard to work, many employers are asking their workforce for feedback surrounding remote working, wants and needs for returning to the office, so make sure you have input! Speaking about your thoughts and worries can help build your confidence and give you a sense of control – both are a healthy approach to managing anxiety.

 

Try not to let your mind focus on the negatives all the time.

When we are feeling anxious, it is easy for us to get carried away with our thoughts and start catastrophising situations – which means thinking about the possible worst outcome. Be mindful of these thoughts and remember with every negative thought, try and combat it with something positive. Take time to reflect on your thinking.

 

Focus on the positives.

Start your morning by stating things you are grateful for, or even go one step further and keep a gratitude diary! This can really help to counteract anxiety, by keeping your mind focused on the positive rather than dwelling on the negative and catastrophising.

 

Don’t succumb to pressure.

Many of us have felt very overwhelmed during the lockdown. It is a completely natural response considering the rapid pace at which all of our routines and habits had to change. Adjusting back to a new normal can be just as stressful as entering lockdown was, so take your time, be slow, kind and gentle to yourself. Look after your mental and physical wellbeing, there is no need to rush straight back into how your life was pre-COVID19.

 

Find a constant.

Human beings love habit, consistency and routine. When we entered a lockdown, many of us felt uneasy with a swift change in our normal lives, but over the weeks we are more accustomed to this new way of living. Now, with lockdown starting to be lifted on the horizon, we face the same struggles with adapting to whatever the new normal will be. Our daily lives won’t be the same, and the workplace will change significantly. Perhaps it’s the uncertainty that is worrying you or the fact that you need to adapt to a whole new routine again. Try and make some habits constant sooner rather than later; whether it’s making a cup of tea at the same time every day, going for a walk or having mindful minutes to meditate and practice some breathing techniques, having some form of structure and activity we can return to can really help create a sense of routine and bring a feeling of control with it.

 

Communicate with people.

When you are feeling anxious, one of the best things to do is to talk to someone about it. As the saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved, and someone else’s perspective on the situation you are worrying about may help you to get out of a negative headspace. It also helps to have a good support network around you so that you never have to suffer alone and in silence.

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