As restrictions are lifted and our freedom returns, some of us are surprised to find we’re not quite as excited for things to go back to ‘normal’ as we thought we’d be.
In fact, we’re feeling kind of anxious about life post-lockdown (and not just because we’ll need to wear shoes and sit in traffic again).
Maybe you’re concerned about your physical health. Maybe you’re worried about readjusting to a faster pace in your workplace. Or maybe you’re nervous about socialising after months of self-isolation.
Whatever your reasons for feeling nervous about society starting up again, it’s not unusual – and you’re not the only one.
We hope these tips help you ease back into life after lockdown.
Start Small and Take it Slow
Some people can’t wait to pour into pubs and kick-start their social calendars, but if that’s not you, that’s just fine. Give yourself time to get back to a life where you left the house and saw other humans.
Socialise slowly with just a few friends at a time. Visit quieter cafés and restaurants before hitting up the hot spots. Ask your employer if you can alternate days working from the office and from home.
We’ve been on lockdown for months, and it’s going to be a big adjustment to go back to normal life. So don’t feel pressured to jump right back into exactly how things were before.
Reflect on Your Experience
We’ve just been through a global pandemic, guys. Countries closed their borders, businesses and schools closed their doors, and visiting our friends and families was prohibited. Life as we knew it, and our plans for the year, were thrown out the window.
Instead of trying to slide straight back in your old life, allow yourself to reflect on this event. Talk to your friends and family about how it impacted you, what you found difficult, and any positives that came from it. Or write these things down in a journal to keep track of how you’re feeling.
Consider Your New Priorities
For some people, self-isolation was the catalyst for self-discovery. It forced us to pause and take stock of how we spent our time, energy, and money when things were ‘normal’.
Maybe you don’t miss the things you thought you would. Maybe you’d rather socialise in the outdoors than on a night out. Maybe you’ve realised how much you value alone time. Now’s the time to create new priorities and habits than align with the life you want to live moving forward.
Don’t Expect Everything to be ‘Normal’ Straight Away
There are plenty of ways things will remain different to how they were pre-coronavirus. We can probably expect queues, obsessive hand washing, and the 1.5m rule to follow us into the foreseeable future.
Stay vigilant and pay attention to health and safety advice. Follow the rules venues have in place for your safety, wash your hands regularly, and keep a safe distance from others when you’re out and about.
Talk About Your Fears
Literally everyone in the world has been impacted by this. If you’re feeling anxious or finding it hard to adapt to the latest lift in lockdown restrictions, chances are some of your friends, colleagues, family members, and neighbours are too.
The coronavirus is sure to be a key topic of conversation in many social circles for a while, and talking about your fears and concerns may help you understand and process things.
If you need some help coping, our tertiary-qualified counsellors can provide support. You can learn more about our confidential counselling options and how to book an appointment here.
Keep looking after yourself. Discover our tips to protect your emotional wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak.