All change and back to 'normal'?
Updated: Mar 3
It's approaching a year since lockdown restrictions were first introduced and we have slowly adjusted to a routine of work, education, entertainment, exercise, shopping and social connection - all from home. Many of us would relish a change of scene right now. The UK has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic and COVID-19 restrictions have made the world a much smaller place.
Those of us who have struggled with the limitations may be eager for the rules to be lifted. Perhaps you can't wait to meet up with family, friends and colleagues, dine out, date, shop in your local high street, attend university, be part of an audience, take classes, visit your library, play team sports, travel - whatever it may be.
But what if, over recent months, you've become accustomed to a lockdown lifestyle?
But what if the thought of mingling with others fills you with dread? What if, over recent months, you've become accustomed to a lockdown lifestyle? What if you've discovered that in many ways, a simpler, slower, smaller way of doing things actually rather suits you?
If the thought of returning to 'normal' is making you feel nervous - increased freedom of movement, returning to working outside the home and meeting people face-to-face - then allowing yourself a period of re-adjustment may be helpful. The same may apply if you're feeling anxious about safety.
It may be worth considering which aspects of lockdown have been of benefit to you and which of these you can realistically take forward.
We're not going to immediately return to how we were before the pandemic - there will still be restrictions in place. But if you're feeling any anxiety around the changes it may be worth considering which aspects of lockdown have been of benefit to you and which of these you can realistically take forward. Whether it's more you time, time with a significant other or immediate family, or time used for personal development. Perhaps you have preferred working from home or enjoyed having more time for interests and hobbies. Perhaps less time spent being busy with others has allowed you to be more yourself.
Perhaps less time spent being busy with others has allowed you to be more yourself.
Give a thought to how you may be able to take any helpful aspects of lockdown forward. You could make a list of what you have and haven't appreciated about lockdown to help you decide how you want life to be for you when restrictions begin to ease.
If you feel you are experiencing anxiety around this issue and are unable to manage, speak to your GP or you can self-
refer to NHS Talking Therapies online https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/free-therapy-or-counselling/
The mental health charity Mind may also be of help https://www.mind.org.uk/
Alternatively, you can seek an independent counsellor through BACP https://www.bacp.co.uk/search/Therapists
For help with urgent mental health issues, call 116 123 to talk to Samaritans or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for a reply within 24 hours. Or you can text SHOUT to 85258 to contact the Shout Crisis Text Line. If you're under 19, you can text YM to 85258 or call Childline on 0800 1111.
You may find the following links useful: