We are now a few months into our new found freedom and life returning to normal. The holidays are over and the children are back at school. How have you coped with everything reopening, crowds gathering again, social distancing ending and the use of masks being your own choice?
I am sure many of you were keen and eager to get back to normal, but I am equally sure that there were still quite a few of you who found this new freedom brought with it renewed anxiety and extra worries.
We have had 18 months of being told to stay at home, stay safe and to stay away from other people so it is only natural that it could take some adjusting to get back to feeling comfortable in all situations.
They say it can take up to 60 days to create a new habit – well we have had 8 times that long to adapt to a whole new way of living, working and virtual socialising. So it’s only natural that it could take a while to switch back again.
I teamed up with Experience Guildford and Guildford Borough Council to provide some tips for easing anxiety as lockdown started to ease back in April, so I thought I would share some of those with you again.
Here I am in Guildford town centre where I discovered my tips on a massive billboard! This was all part of the campaign to help people returning to the shops and offices to be calmer, be kinder and be safe. I was delighted to be able to contribute.
5 TIPS TO EASE ANXIETY
- The rules may have relaxed but some are still a bit ambiguous or at our own discretion – if in doubt DO WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL THE MOST COMFORTABLE AND SAFE.
2. It’s fine to GO AT YOUR OWN PACE, don’t feel you have to do what everyone else is doing, or feel pressurised – it’s ok to take some time to readjust. Keep things simple to avoid feeling too overwhelmed.
3. TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME, and remember there will be days when things feel much better and you are more able to cope than others. This is normal and very understandable – so don’t beat yourself up if you are having a bad day!
4. Set yourself SMALL DAILY OR WEEKLY GOALS, and try to challenge yourself a little more each week. It’s very easy and normal to worry about what might happen in the future and imagine worse case scenarios so bringing yourself back to the present with doable goals will help eliminate that fear.
5. TELL SOMEONE HOW YOU ARE FEELING. We have all been though this, and these feelings of worry and uncertainty are normal. Talking about how you are feeling right now to someone else can help ease these anxieties. You may well find that how you are feeling is not that uncommon at all. We have all been through this together, so family, friends and co-workers should understand more easily the reasons why this might be hard. These feelings of uncertainty and worry are nothing to be ashamed of and the more open you are the better you will feel and the more support you will receive.
I hope these tips help those who are finding it hard at the moment, for whatever reason. And maybe also as a reminder that even if you are feeling confident and happy, there may be those around you who may need a bit more space and time as we all learn to adapt, get back to normal and enjoy our freedom again.
Please remember if you need someone to talk to, I am always here.