As a country, we have been in a lockdown for over a year now. Our lives have adjusted in ways we just couldn’t have imagined. Whether it was getting set up and used to working from home, not seeing friends and family, cancelling holidays, or getting used to date nights being on your sofa and not at the cinema, we’ve all shifted our everyday lives.
To begin with these changes were seen as strange and unusual, but having maintained this routine for the past year, we’ve all adjusted to the ‘new normal’. Now, the shift is coming again. The latest announcements suggest that lockdown is easing and that ‘normal’ life could be in sight. But what does that mean for everyone who has adjusted to lockdown life?
Although some people are excited at the prospect of life returning to how it was before March 2020, lots of people are experience anxiety around what the latest change mean and the implications it has on their new way of living.
Living with anxiety can be hugely difficult, but there are some steps you can take that might help.
Our top tips on coping with anxiety
1. Talk to someone you trust.
This could be a friend, partner, colleague, or a professional therapist or psychologist. Sometimes talking through your concerns and hearing a perspective can help you manage anxiety. If you’re looking for additional support, check with your employer as to whether you have an EAP or health cash plan in place that might be able to provide you with free or discounted access to mental health support.
2. Look after your physical health.
Your physical and mental health are massively interlinked and working towards making positive changes to your physical wellbeing can help manage conditions like anxiety and depression. Consider looking at your diet, how much sleep you’re getting and how much movement you’re doing every day. We’ve got more on how physical activity ties into your mental health coming up in another blog later in the month, so keep your eyes peeled!
3. Use technology.
Through your WorkLife membership, you have access to Thrive – the NHS-approved mental health and wellbeing app. Simply download the app, enter your code and get started. Available 24/7, the app gives you access to the latest psychological tools and techniques that can help you develop resilience, choice and empowerment in everyday challenges.
4. Take things one step at a time.
If you’re finding this transition back to ‘normal’ life a bit much – plan ways you can stagger your return to ‘normality’. Maybe talk to your employer about working remotely a few days a week or see if you can meet a friend for a walk instead of going straight to a beer garden. There are lots of smaller changes you can start and make to your everyday life to get you feeling more comfortable and confident during this change.
If you find that you’re struggling to cope, there’s a list of resources and charities available you through the NHS website.