As Coronavirus lockdown measures continue to ease, you may be looking forward to filling your social calendar again with longed-for catch-ups. From reuniting with friends, family and work colleagues, to finally getting some professional hands on those overgrown locks -returning to a sense of normality can be incredibly liberating for some.
But adjusting to life after lockdown can also be challenging for our mental health. It can bring up feelings of fear and anxiety, particularly for those who are vulnerable to the virus, as well as those with pre-existing mental health conditions.
Whether you’re nervous about protecting your loved ones, worried about taking public transport again, or unsure on how to behave in social situations, our list of top tips will help you manage post-lockdown anxiety and reconnect with life away from home.
One of the most effective yet overlooked stress management tools is a good breathing exercise. By consciously controlling your breathing pattern, it is possible to reduce tension, reset your mind and body, and bring a sense of peace and calm. You can start by introducing 5 minutes of focused breathing into your daily routine. Try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth, counting steadily from 1 to 5 as you inhale and exhale.
Lockdown has affected us all in different ways, and everyone’s situation is different. Recognising the need to go at your own pace is important. You shouldn’t feel pressured to return to your old routine right away – but try to challenge yourself slightly, especially when it comes to (safely) reuniting with your loved ones.
Whilst virtual communication can benefit your mental health in the short-term, if you can push yourself through any social anxiety and slowly increase the number of in-person interactions, you may feel better for it. Small steps like this will work wonders for your wellbeing.
Focus on your wellbeing
It is always important to take some time out to look after yourself. You could read a book, get creative with some arts and crafts, go for a walk or spend some time in the garden. Incorporating regular exercise into your routine can also reduce feelings of stress, fear and anxiety. Exercise can also be, dare we say it – fun! It’s about finding out what form of exercise you enjoy in order to support your mental and physical wellbeing.