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How To Overcome The Anxiety Of Returning To The Big Wide World!



How To Overcome The Anxiety Of Returning To The Big Wide World!

With lots of talk of lockdown restrictions easing and many excited people taking to social media describing what they plan to do when pubs, bars, restaurants and nightclubs reopen, there’s a definite spirit of hope in the Spring air. 

But what if you’re not as excited about the end of lockdown, and in fact, the thought of socialising again is causing you great anxiety? If this describes you, you’re not alone. According to reports by the BBC and the Guardian, many people are feeling anxious about restrictions being lifted. 

These anxieties are complex and caused by many different reasons. People are reporting that fear is the number one cause – mainly fear that the virus is still very much prevalent and is still being spread. This is especially felt by those who have pre-existing health conditions such as asthma or conditions that cause an impaired immune system.

It’s also felt by young people, who are more likely to be the ones working in reopened bars and pubs, and yet who are also less likely to have been offered the vaccine. 

There’s also fear amongst people who already had social anxieties who have been able to relax more easily during lockdown, knowing that they have a reason for not venturing out and being part of large social gatherings. Some people are also worried that they’ve been left with no social group to feel part of or belong to, since they may have lost contact with peer groups during lockdown. 

Whatever your reason for feeling anxious about the end of lockdown, it’s 100% valid. We understand and we hear you, which is why in this post, we’re touching on pandemic wellness. 

Pandemic wellness is a broad subject covering aspects of both our physical and emotional wellbeing. In terms of pandemic wellness and a return to ‘normality’ causing anxiety, we’re going to focus here on the mental health aspects to helping you find the answer to peace and happiness as life changes once more… 

  • Breathing to help maintain calmness and stillness is associated with mindfulness and meditation, which can feel daunting if you’re new to it. Our post What Exactly is Mindfulness talks you through the benefits and how to begin practicing mindfulness. 
  • Take things at your own pace by not allowing yourself to be pressurised into doing something or making a trip somewhere that makes you feel uncomfortable. Explain to loved ones who want to see you that you’re finding it difficult. But try not to let your anxieties control you or use them as an excuse not to take pleasure from reconnecting with friends and family. 
  • Try to challenge yourself a little bit each day, by doing something small but significant that takes you outside of your comfort zone. This might be a walk, a trip to a shop, getting on a bus for a few stops or talking to a local friend or neighbour on their doorstep. Congratulate yourself on each step taken and appreciate how big that is for you. Don’t berate yourself for the challenges that don’t go to plan. Instead, emotionally dust yourself down and try again the next day. 
  • Take control by carefully planning your route if you’re planning to visit someone, be that by foot, public transport or car. Allow yourself extra time, and tell people in advance that you need to leave by a certain time, so that you don’t have to potentially embarrass yourself by announcing that when you get there. 
  • If you’re concerned about returning to work, make sure you voice your concerns to your manager, HR department or confidante. There may be measures in place to help you that you’re unaware of. 

We truly wish you all the best as you navigate your way back into the world.

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