I’ve recognised over lock down that two different types of anxiety have been emerging. At the beginning of lock down there were those who experienced fears of being trapped and a sense of terror over what the coming weeks would entail. Were their jobs secure? Were their businesses going to survive? Would they be put on furlough or would they have to work with the danger of the virus all around them? We saw the pictures of Italy on the news ahead of us in terms of the virus and we got a sense of what was to come. However, for others the lock down was a relief, an escape for those who were so used to facing multiple anxiety inducing activities on a daily basis, battling with panic and stress. They were quite comfortable with the lock down but what comes next as we start coming out of lock down? The human species adapts to its surroundings and acclimatises to different circumstances but if you have just got used to your new life, how will this release of lock down be for you?
Some of you may be worried about returning to whatever normality might look like and already be worrying about that readjustment and your brain may be alerting you to this, even to the point that it feels threatening. Getting used to a new version of life, which may be different than it was before. It may take time to get used to life again and the thought of being so busy once again is going to take time, but just as the human species adapted to the lock down, it can adapt again. It is okay to be worried and ease back into life slowly. Maybe noticing the increased levels of noise such as the traffic and the general increased noise and understanding that this may take time.
There is also the fact that there may be aspects of our life that we don’t want to go back to. Companies may have been forced to look at alternative ways of working and those that have been working from home may see that being increased, it may be that work hours become more flexible for some so avoiding public transport at rush hours may make travelling that bit easier.
Taking one thing a time will help and becoming used to outside stimulation needs to be a gradual thing, coming back slowly and not expecting too much of yourself. You may have found a sense of safety and comfort in staying at home, reconnecting with family and spending quality time with our loved ones which before was a rarity. You may have adapted to a more mindful way of living and feel much better as a result.
If you are worried that you will not be able to go back to how things were then remember to be gentle with yourself. Show yourself some self compassion and understand that this is going to take time. As it took time and readjustment to go into lock down it will be the same process coming out of it. Take things step by step and day by day and be kind to yourself.
Of course for others it may be a realisation that the relationship you are in is not for you anymore, the friends that you were messaging asking for a catch up over WhatsApp are not responding and you begin to recognise that there were those friends that have been staying in touch and those that haven’t. There is a difference in someone being physically available and emotionally available. Are those friends you do speak to make the conversation about them, giving you little or no time to speak about yourself? Do they go into a quiet room where they can give you their undivided attention or is there so much going on you feel your invading their space?
You may find yourself reassessing your friendships, your relationships, your career and yourself. What is it you really want to do? What friendships and relationships are worth keeping? What does your new daily routine need to look like for you to have more balance in your life?
A phased return to your personal life may be just as important as your work.
There’s no disputing this lock down will have had an effect on everyone. Some positive, some negative. Allowing yourself time to adjust slowly and seeking out the services of a counsellor could be beneficial.
If you feel like you need to talk or access therapy either through hypnotherapy or counselling for feelings of anxiety please do not hesitate to get in touch through my contact page.