Tips for Readjusting to Life After the COVID-19 Lockdown
Updated: Oct 7, 2020
It’s the first and hopefully the last time many of us have to experience a lockdown period. With emotions running high, routine thrown out the window and social distancing enforced it’s no wonder the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are felt by everyone. Getting back behind the car wheel after weeks feels unnatural so it’s no wonder everyone is having a hard time mentally adjusting back to normal life too.
In the scheme of things a few months in a lockdown period doesn’t seem like an awfully long timeframe. But the effects of being in isolation will last a lot longer than this. Being cut off from socialization, normal working routine, and faced with new stresses due to COVID-19 all contribute to the eerie feeling of life going back to normal.
Going back out to seeing friends and resuming social activity can be overwhelming and tiring. Even for the extroverted, this sudden change back to full steam ahead should be eased back into. Take it easy on yourself and accept its completely normal to feel unsettled as you begin to socialize again. Instead of the 5 social gatherings you had planned this week, perhaps re-evaluate which ones are most important. Focus on quality interactions rather than quantity.
For those who suffer from anxieties, specifically social anxiety this return may be particularly challenging. With the sudden influx of social stimulation, it may feel as though you’ve gone backward in your progress. Take the free social anxiety test and get free actionable tips for your severity level, it may be a good idea to book in extra time with your therapist should you need it. If these feelings are new and they’re constantly affecting your daily life, it may be time to visit a psychologist. Here you will be able to develop some coping strategies while introducing yourself slowly back into social life.
Returning to work
While many businesses are adopting remote working strategies still, some are now returning to an office environment. Going from working at home to back into meetings, coffee catch-ups and 50 people in one space can prove challenging for some. Again, remember what you’re feeling is valid and so many others are finding the return to normal life tough. Talk to your superior and ask if you can take a few days at home each week until you settle back to the normal routine. If working from home has worked well for you and your mental health, why not begin a discussion that could mean working from home is a more permanent option. Here are 10 working from home tips.
You could be returning to life after the COVID lockdown with additional stresses. Things like financial strain, loss of a job, finding a place to live are all additional worries that may have not existed before the pandemic. Most countries are offering some form of financial support for those affected my COVID, if you do fit the criteria make sure you apply for this. There is a lot of stigma surrounding the demographic of those on a government benefit. For many, this will be the first time applying for a benefit. Don’t let this stop you, if you are struggling mentally, physically, or financially you deserve to have financial aid.
Focus on the good
Most of us have had a long period of reflection in lockdown which as allowed us to view our lives more holistically. Taking these thoughts with us back into normal life and find your stress-revilers and coping mechanisms. It could be a simple walk outside, a coffee with a friend, or a yoga class that calms you down. Make it a goal to spend more time doing the things that make you feel good.
If you are experiencing feelings of anxiety working on breathing techniques can be extremely helpful. In times where anxiety spikes focus on the length and deepness of your breath while counting. Practicing meditation techniques can also prove useful.
If these feelings are affecting your daily life or you feel the need to talk don’t hesitate to contact a helpline or visit a therapist. They will make a world of difference and help you readjust to life after lockdown, arming you with techniques to deal with these invasive feelings.