For most of us, the lockdown has been a difficult time, but in contrast, it has been an opportunity to safeguard and take a break from the world.
A time to rest for some, a time to worry for others.
You may have found an increase in your hyperarousal and overall awareness of your surroundings and people around you conducting themselves differently under government guidelines; social distancing, PPE, exercise once a day, the list has been long, hasn’t it.
And then, lockdown changed!
The lockdown has indeed been lifted, and this evokes a different and more often than not, a difficult coping strategy for a lot of people as it has gone from one extreme to another. Reconnecting with life once again has been hard.
The world is impatient, and we are too, each of us grasping any certainty in uncertain times.
We are all our harshest critic. So not to judge ourselves on what other people are doing is paramount to looking after our mental health.
This blog intends to signpost you with positive and practical suggestions for your health and wellbeing. It will acknowledge the trials and tribulations that have been occurring since and after lockdown.
How they have surfaced and how to cope.
Understand, although these are emotionally exhausting sensations, they are natural and extremely common responses anyone feels to some degree during and after lockdown.
Such as the fear of contracting the COVID virus, passing on the infection, wearing face masks, having to place ourselves into isolation to safeguard, one way systems in shops, and avoiding others best you can are all on the list.
These can and have caused people flashbacks, panic attacks, increasing overall anxiety levels that at times are unbearable. But they are manageable with the correct tools.
It has very much been a snowball effect mentally day by day, as things have catastrophised themselves and frustrations. Worry began to surface, as internal sensory overload emerged from isolation.
So, how do we deal with these unwelcome sensations?
- Control what we can control and leave the things we cannot.
Controlling triggers for fear and anxiety are necessary by developing plans of action that can ground our minds and guide us through these times. For instance, you can control unwanted worries through planning, distraction and meditation. A walk down the road can be made less worrisome if you plan the steps you are going to take to make the walk possible such as putting your shoes on and picking up your keys. Intrusive thoughts such as I am going to get hit by a car can be thrown away as you will be walking on the pavement and cars drive on the road.
- Develop tolerance
Writing down what new and different approaches to daily living you have achieved is motivating and empowering. Our routines will slowly vary; we accomplish more and more at our own pace than we do when pressured. Compromise rather than give in and allow yourself time to adjust.
- Self-pace and do not be governed by others
This is for when you are not ready other’s perspectives. These can be exhausting and overwhelming. Everyone is different, and you are your number one priority in self-care and preservation in times like these. Only when times are right for you to meet others and leave your home, is it the best way to move forward. It is not a race. So take opportunities to relax and reset.
- Returning to work and talking to work and talking to your employer
For many, work never stopped for lockdown weather that was in or out of the home. But for those returning to work for the first time in over three months, the idea can be quite daunting. It is important to share these worries with your employer or representative. Most employers will assist in reassuring and keeping you aware of what their precautionary measures are.
The new normal is for the foreseeable future. Instead of focusing on the storm of “what ifs,” that understandably enter our minds, it is beneficial to focus on the things we have learned and achieved in the last few months. What have we managed and flourished in? Which negatives did we turn positive? Keep reminding yourself of the achievements regardless of size and argue the negative and judgemental voice in the back of the mind.
The Devon Clinic is always dedicated to bringing our readers and clients reliable, relevant, and current information. If you would like support with your mental or physical health from one of our practitioners, please contact us or complete the form below.