How to Prepare Yourself for Life After Lockdown
You’re not alone. Lockdown has been tough on everyone in the UK. The whole world for that matter.
After two nationwide lockdowns, a third was announced on January 4 and was scheduled to end completely in June but starting with a phased approach to reopening the country from this month. No matter whether you remained in your house on your own or with friends and family, the situation has taken a toll on a lot of young people mentally and people in general.
According to studies led by the University of Glasgow, there has been an increase in mental health conditions for young people, including depression, loneliness, suicide attempts, and self-harm that have been brought on by the effects of lockdown. As the country prepares to come out of lockdown, feelings of fear and anxiety are expected to increase as we learn to adjust to the new rules and restrictions.
If you’re concerned about adjusting to life after lockdown, there are some techniques you can employ to make the transition easier. Here are some you can begin to practice now before the country starts to open up.
Don’t Rush Yourself
It’s critical to be aware of what you’re comfortable with and what you’re not. Just because the country has a date to relax restrictions, that doesn’t mean you need to push yourself to resume normal activities.
You might not be ready to mingle with friends or family safely outside of your house. Maybe you prefer receiving items by delivery rather than navigate your way through a supermarket. Whatever it may be, you need to assess how comfortable you are participating in the activity.
This doesn’t mean isolating yourself. You should still stay connected with family, friends, and work colleagues. But don’t let anyone force you into attending events until you’re completely comfortable doing so.
Understand What You’re In Control Of
When you start having anxiety, a good exercise to undertake is to examine why you’re feeling this way. Try asking yourself if you’re in control of the reason you’re feeling fearful or anxious.
If you are in control, then create a strategy to manage it or come up with an action plan to overcome it. This may involve starting new habits or stopping bad ones. It might also include getting support from close friends or relatives.
However, if you’re not in control, you need to have a challenging discussion with yourself on how you can overcome this feeling. If it’s not something you can do on your own, then seek out professional help to guide you through this step.
Build a Tolerance
Another method of overcoming fear and anxiety is to find tasks that challenge you. It could be a physical or mental challenge. But it’s something that pushes you outside of your comfort zone in a positive way.
When you attempt a new challenge or habit, you shouldn’t expect to achieve it on your first go. In fact, it can be better that you don’t get it right. This will help you build resilience and focus your mind on considering alternative methods of achieving your goal.
Keep a journal of your progress. When you begin to feel fearful or anxious, review it and be proud of the progress you’ve made since you started the challenge.
Change Your Routine
When lockdown started, it’s likely you had to make some adjustments to your routine. You might be spending a lot more time in your office or in front of the TV. It’s also possible your phone usage has increased.
With lockdown coming to an end, now is a perfect time to consider reviewing your routine and making some healthy changes. Consider a new exercise regime or even a different dinner plan. Try placing some limits on your screen usage and replace it with reading a book or taking up a physical hobby.
Changing up your routine in and out of the house can help you feel like you’re getting a fresh start. Consider mixing it up now to make the transition for life after lockdown a lot easier.
Focus on the Present
After three lockdowns, it’s normal for you to worry about a fourth one getting announced in the future. Rules and restrictions seem like they’re constantly changing, and the penalties for non-compliance are quite severe that you want to be completely sure you’re doing the right thing.
However, as hard as it may be, it’s not worth concerning yourself with something that has not happened yet. You need to focus your mind on the present and not take too much notice of conflicting news reports and social media opinions. No one is able to predict what is going to happen next.
Seek out something that can help you keep your mind on the present. It might be mindfulness meditation or another task that helps you relax during times of anxiety.
Seek Out Support After Lockdown
It’s important to remember that the world is living through a once in a lifetime pandemic. The measures put in places by governments around the world have been unprecedented. There are no instruction books on how to handle this situation, and, as such, not everyone is prepared to deal with the mental effects of a lockdown.
If you don’t feel equipped to handle the emotional impacts of lockdown, then you should seek out support systems that can help you cope. This might come in the forms of friends, family, or professional services.
Forever Young People has years of knowledge and experience supporting young people and parents who are going through mental health struggles, anxiety, trauma, and stress. We take a holistic approach to better understand where you are today and then creating a personalised plan to help you cope with your situation. If you’re struggling with the idea of life after lockdown, then contact us, and we’ll get you the help that you need.