Lockdown may be lifting slowly around the world but, after weeks inside, the prospect of going back to normal life has got many of us in a spin! This week we’re giving you some tips on tackling post-isolation anxiety so you can continue to thrive and come out of the pandemic feeling positive.
Here are five things you can do to ease you into the ‘new normal’…
Begin To Re-establish Your Old Routine
Whether it’s working from home or spending more time with those you live with, there’s no doubt our day-to-day experience is looking incredibly different. As we ease into normality again, seek to re-establish your old routine to help you transition. Go back to your normal bedtime, eat your meals at times you normally would, stop working at the time you would normally leave the office. Having a level of routine will help when you are required to start going back to the way things once were. However, do consider switching up a few things. For example, was there anything you did whilst working remotely that improved your day? Whilst this was a trying time, it was also a learning opportunity so do keep the good that came from it!
Take It One Day At A Time
It will take a while for the new normal to settle and with that, you need to take things as they come. Don’t fret about what will happen in a few months’ time, focus on the now and tackle it day by day. Remember you can’t control everything around you, you can only control how you respond to it. Take away the pressure and focus on responding to the reality, not the ‘what could be’.
Use Positive Coping Strategies
When things feel out of control it can be easy to lean towards unhealthy habits to help soothe our feelings. However, overindulging in food, drink or even smoking will all negatively impact us in the long term. To help you cope, focus on positive strategies like exercise, meditation and walking outside. Allocate an hour a day to help free your mind and move your body and you’ll find you feel less stressed and revitalised. All exercise has been shown to reduce anxiety; however, running is a particularly great option. If you set yourself goals and increase your distance each time (even if it’s only by metres) you will experience a little lift, a little sense of can-do that will serve you well for the challenges ahead!
One positive of the pandemic has been the increased openness about mental health. As we move out of lockdown, it’s vital that you continue to check in with yourself and talk to your loved ones about how you are doing. If you’re finding this time is becoming too difficult, sometimes all it takes is an open and honest chat to a loved one to dispel those feelings of anxiety and leave you feeling stronger. If you’re worried about going back to work, talk to your employer and discuss whether there is a strategy in place to help. Many offices will be offering more flexible working and support to keep their staff happy and healthy.
It can be helpful to take a step back and remind ourselves that uncertainty is actually nothing new. Many of us always want to feel in control of our lives but, in reality, much of our day to day is subject to uncertainty and can be taken away (as we have seen). We need to realise that this isn’t about scrambling to keep control, it’s about seeing how quickly we can adapt. Sometimes just accepting that life is all about change (and that’s ok) can have a level of relief to it.
We hope these tips help you to feel ready to tackle the post lockdown world. Remember we’re all in this together and we’re here to help you through.