Since lock-down began back in early 2020, covid has been the cause of a great deal of stress, pain and anxiety. We have all experienced, know somebody or have heard about people who have really suffered, from getting poorly and losing loved ones to losing jobs and facing financial difficulties.
As we come out of lock-down, things aren't suddenly going to go back to normal. Getting back out here can be scary, especially given that nobody really knows what is going to happen over the next few weeks, months and even years.
It is easy to be happy and energetic when all things are going our way, but it is in times of stress and anxiety that we get to truly test our ability to take a positive approach to life. After all, we have no control over external events such as covid - but we do have control over our approach to it.
There is a great poem by Rudyard Kipling called ‘If’ that sings the praises of those who can weather difficult times in life. Here is a verse:
“If you can keep your head when all about you
are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
but make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
and yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:”
He ends the poem with:
“Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!”
This shows well that it doesn't matter what adversity we face, if we can take a positive approach to overcome our challenges we can accomplish great things in life.
Here are some strategies to help you deal with covid anxiety as we come out of lock-down:
We will all approach the relaxation of lock-down rules differently.Where some will be anxious about returning to ‘normal’ life, others will relish the opportunity to get out there and let their hair down after months of isolation.
You will probably find some of your friends excitedly inviting you out to take part in everything from grabbing a coffee to a night on the town.
If you are feeling uneasy about getting back out there, this can be a great source of anxiety. After all, you don’t want to be rude by turning down their invitation, but you might not quite be ready yet.
In this scenario, you can feel resentful towards those who are inviting you out for putting you in a difficult situation. But it is essential to remain positive in your approach.
If you are being invited to meet up with others, remember that it is because they miss you and want to spend time with you. It comes from a place of love. They would probably be mortified if they knew they were causing you unnecessary stress.
When this happens, explain that you would love to meet up, but you are still feeling anxious and want to take things at your own pace. If you are comfortable, offer an alternative solution such as coffee in a quieter location or at a future date.
Take Small Steps
As we rediscover our freedom and return to doing day-to-day activities which were once normal, things can get a little overwhelming. Just because something was once easy, doesn't mean it will be now. Give yourself the time and space to take small steps.
For example, you may negotiate with your employer to work just a couple of days from the office for the first few weeks, or you may decide to just return to one social activity at a time.
All too often we don’t realise that we are suffering from anxiety until it is too late. We go about our business and suddenly it hits us. When this happens it can be debilitating and worrying, leading to further stress.
Taking a mindful approach to life will ensure that you catch potentially anxiety-inducing moments before it is too late. Using simple tools to ensure you regularly check in on yourself can make this easier. For example, you could set regular timers to stop and breathe and use Melo to help guide you through powerful breathing techniques.
Reading this guide is a positive first step to reducing anxiety about returning to normal life. It is important to understand the mental impact this drastic change in the way we live can have on us and find smart ways to mitigate the stress it can cause.
TheaWellbeing and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material on theawellbeing.com is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health-related programs.