With different lockdown restrictions easing every month, it seems like we are finally seeing some light at the end of this very long COVID-19 tunnel. However, snapping right back into your ‘normal’ life might not be as easy as you’d like it to be.
We’ve spent over a year getting used to wearing masks, staying apart and not really leaving the house, so the thought of an abundance of things to do all of a sudden and being able to meet up with friends and family who we haven’t seen in months can be so overwhelming – and that’s OK.
There’s no right or wrong way to feel about lockdown ending and the return to normal life. Some of us can’t wait to get our routines back, have our businesses fully reopen and be able to visit our loved ones freely. And some of us are only just comfortably coming to terms with the ‘new normal’ - just in time for more changes.
There are so many ways you can help manage your feelings. We’ve got some tips below:
Speak To Someone You Trust
Whether it’s a friend, family member, your other half or even a neighbour, take some time out to have a real discussion about how you’re feeling. Even sharing your experience with someone could be enough to help you feel better, but if you find yourself struggling there are some great mental health charities available for extra support. Mind run an online peer support community which you can find more about by clicking here, and remember you can call Samaritans any time on 116123.
Start a Creative Project
Being creative can really help you express how you feel. Drawing, painting and craft projects are a great way to keep your mind active and help channel your emotions. There are some great online resources available, have a scroll through Instagram and YouTube for short free tutorials to get you started. Simply taking 10 minutes a day to do some journaling is amazing for your wellbeing. Or if you already enjoy writing then check out the likes of Brahmin Lettering Co. for her online calligraphy classes (the most relaxing couple of hours I’ve ever had).
Control What You Can
It can be so easy to feel down and defeated since choices and luxuries have been taken away time and time again, but you can still regain some control by focusing on the things you can manage. Giving yourself small goals like setting up a new skincare routine or planning your exercise and meals for the week can make a huge difference to how organised and in control we feel. You can also set up alerts on your phone to limit the amount of screen-time you have throughout each day, curbing the urge to scroll through news and social media feeds as often as we do.
Be Kind to Yourself
Cliché but true – time really does heal. We might not be out of the pandemic fully, but things are definitely getting better. Case numbers are dropping, vaccination levels are on the rise and the toughest restrictions which made winter 100 times bleaker are being lifted, so there are definitely small victories to be celebrated. That being said, there’s no rush or expectation from anyone to feel like you need to dive right back into socialising and shopping. It’s important give yourself as much time as you need and do only what you feel comfortable with – and if that’s staying at home in your comfies doing all your shopping online for a bit longer then that’s absolutely fine.
Don’t be Afraid to Seek Help
If you find yourself unable to open up to anyone you know, or unable to cope with the ever-changing demands of living in a pandemic, then it’s OK to ask for help. A good place to start is making an appointment with your GP, or your local mental health team if you have one. They may also be able to offer a telephone or video call appointment instead or/as well as visiting in person.