Coronavirus & Mental Health: Returning To Life After Lockdown
The impact of changing from a regular routine to a period of uncertainty has been well-discussed in relation to mental health, especially in terms of how this influences an individual’s feelings of anxiety.
These feelings have understandably been of great concern over recent months but, as the lockdown restrictions have slowly eased, life is gradually returning to some sense of normality and the attention on mental health is shifting in another direction.
With this in mind, how can you ensure you embrace post-lockdown life in as calm and stress-free a way as possible?
Being aware of how things change and how this might affect us is usually the best place to start, especially when it comes to managing yet another shift in routine.
In this article, we have highlighted two of the main changes you are likely to encounter over the next few weeks, as well as the potential impacts these changes could have.
Returning To Work
As we move away from pandemic-style working life into a new post-lockdown environment, anxiety levels may be starting to rise in certain people.
Because of this, it’s important to now understand why these changes are occurring so that you can prioritise your mental health as your working environment becomes more COVID-secure.
In light of these changes, it’s perfectly normal to feel uncertain. Some studies suggest that it can take more than two months for new behaviours to feel more familiar. With lockdown lasting almost double that length of time, all changes you now have to encounter should, therefore, be considered as ‘new’ again.
It goes without saying that it will take time for you to adjust. But, as you move through the process, make sure to prioritise your mental wellbeing, taking steps to minimise any feelings of anxiety or stress you encounter along the way.
Over the past few months, we have all been frequently told about the potential dangers involved with arranging group activities, parties or mass gatherings.
Depending on your living arrangements throughout lockdown, social interactions could now therefore be a more unfamiliar occurrence than ever before.
With this in mind, it’s completely understandable to feel some sort of social anxiety towards the prospect of integrating with other households once again.
Although restrictions have now been somewhat lifted, you should take your time, move at your own pace and prioritise your mental health when choosing which individuals and households you want to interact with.
For some people, going from sole interaction with your own household to the prospect of meeting in groups of six can understandably feel rather daunting.
However, by managing your stress in the right way, you can quickly start taking the steps required to minimise any social anxieties you feel.