Lockdown and the impact of coronavirus is something that has impacted people all around the world.
The way in which everyone copes is different, and we will all have different thoughts, feelings and opinions on easing out of lockdown.
One thing I want to address is the stress, anxiety and overwhelm you may be feeling with lockdown restrictions easing.
I want to start by saying this is normal and you are not alone.
We have been in lockdown, or impacted by Coronavirus in some way or another for over a year now (at the time of writing) so with restrictions easing, comes a lot of change.
For many, it is an exciting opportunity to see friends, get our hair done and go to the pub. For others, although it seems positive, can take a toll on our mental health.
Just as we had to find a new way to live while in lockdown, we are going to have to again, find a new way to adjust to ‘normal’ life. We can only do our best – and everyone’s best is going to look different.
Are you feeling:
- Under pressure?
It is easy to feel a complete lack of control, potentially feeling okay one minute and overwhelmed the next, you’re not alone. If this is how you’re feeling, here are some top tips that I hope will help you 🙂
Give yourself time
Give yourself all the time you need to acknolwedge, process and manage the way you want to do things. Take it day by day. Readjust in your own time and your own way. You don’t need to rush or take the pace of anyone else.
IIf you are feeling anxious or depressed, seek some support. The type of support depends on what you are feeling and what you need. Try reaching out to a friend or family member that you trust to talk to and be honest with how you are feeling. Although we all have different opinions and taking life at our own pace, not everyone has to understand how you are feeling, just respect it. The simple act of having someone you can be open with and listen, can help offload your troubles and clear your mind.
Alternatively, there are many support services that you can seek, online and via the phone. Check out my resources page for some more information.
It is easy to sit back and isolate yourself during these times, especially when it feels like no one understands you. There are still, however, plenty of ways to stay connected without having to see anyone in person, or everyone all at once. Be honest with family and friends and ask if they would still connect with you via phone or Zoom.
Alternatively, find some online space where you can stay connected. There are many places that are keeping their services online (my yoga classes for example) where you can connect with like minded people.
Don’t force yourself to do anything you don’t want to do
Sometimes a push is what we need, other times it is not. Acknowledge how the situation makes you feel, to help determine whether you should do it or not. Listen to your gut and remember, there is no rush. Don’t let what others are doing pressure you into doing anything you don’t want to. And you don’t have to explain yourself either.
Don’t compare what you are doing to others
Everyone is going to be dealing with the easing of lockdown differently. Just with anything in life, resist the urge to compare what you are doing to someone else. It is so easy to look on social media and compare what everyone else is doing and how their live looks and judge ourselves harshly based on this. It does not mean you are bad or behind if you are not doing what others are doing. Take your own pace and remember, comparison is the thief of joy.
Be honest with yourself and how you are feeling
You don’t necessarily have to tell everyone how you are feeling, but the most important thing is to be honest with yourself and how you are feeling now, rather than bottling it up. There is nothing wrong with feeling stressed, anxious and overwhelmed about the situation… or even having complete mixed feelings! We are human and it is normal experience a range of emotions.
Give yourself permission to meet yourself where you are at right now, meet your anxiety and worries with acceptance and a little compassion. Feel whatever you need to feel, in whatever way that means to you. Write it out, run, scream, cry, dance…whatever you need to do to express and release, to feel a little lighter. We don’t have to be okay 100% of the time.
Many people have found this past year that the things they want to do have changed, so you may not be the only one implementing new boundaries.
Reflect on the things you enjoy, the things you don’t and the things you do for the sake of people pleasing. Things that perhaps bring feelings discomfort or resentment? Or things that raise red flags?
It doesn’t matter if you don’t know them yet, the important thing is to communicate these boundaries when necessary, and you may only release them in the moment. It may take some time at first, especially if you do not like confrontation, for both you and the receiving end. If people are used to you doing certain things (even though you don’t want to) they might wonder why you are not. Stick to your boundaries.
Boundaries are key to a better quality of life, and relationships.
Remind yourself of the things that you are able to control
Choices are limited when it comes to coronavirus, leaving many of us feeling out of control.
There are still many things that we can control, so see if you can focus on them, for example, what we consume during the day (food, news, social media, time outside) as well as the people that we spend our time with and our routines.
Find yourself some things to do that you feel comfortable
Make a list of the different things you enjoy and feel comfortable doing, for example, walking, cycling, sewing, reading, online classes. If you want to head out, find times that are more quiet (e.g. when people are at school/work)
The idea here not to distract you from the problem, but to ensure you are not consuming yourself with unhelpful thoughts and still enjoying the things you do feel comfortable doing, which is important for your mental health.
look after yourself
To me, this means eat nutritious food, move your body, get some fresh air, setting boundaries and making time for yoga, meditation and journaling practises. All these things can have an impact on your mental health, along with many other things. Doing these things can come along way to helping yourself.
I hope you can find something to takeaway from this article to help you with easing out of lockdown.
Reach out if you ever want more support :*