woman putting on a mask looking anxious about going outside. Concerns over Mental Health as we come out of lockdown

Tips to Manage Anxiety As Life Resumes After Lockdown

Focus on what you can control

You can’t change what is happening in the world around you right now, but you can choose how you respond and behave. Our mind automatically draws our attention to things which are beyond our control and its completely normal to feel anxious about these. Try to let go of what you cannot control and focus on the things you can. This might be your daily routine, following the government guidance or activities you choose to do in your spare time. Doing this will help calm any anxiety you might have and give you a sense of control of your individual situation.

Nurture your wellbeing

It’s important to always take care of our physical and mental health every single day. At times when we are starting to feel stressed or overwhelmed these can often fall off our list of priorities. One thing that is always within our control is our ability to stay hydrated, eat nutritious food and stay active. Going on a short daily walk in the fresh air is a great way to release endorphins that help lift our mood.   

Accept your feelings

It is ok to feel anxious about your situation so don’t block out how you are feeling. Try not to compare yourself to how others are adapting to change or feeling towards restrictions being lifted. Your individual situation Is unique to you so its important to focus on your own thoughts and journey before anyone else’s.

Create a plan

Consider creating a plan for how you are going to prepare moving forward. Whether this be with your employer about retuning to your workplace or integrating back into social activities. Its important to communicate with your employer, family and friends how you feel and what you are comfortable with. Perhaps choose quieter times to visit supermarkets and shops or discuss how you’re going to stick to social distancing when visiting family and friends in the future. The most important part of your plan is to go at your own pace and not rush into anything you’re not comfortable with.

Enjoy each day and be present

Take each day as it comes and try to enjoy being present and mindful. Time is so precious and the days can pass very quickly when we live in a hectic and busy schedule. Try to take a few moments each day practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is scientifically proven to help reduce feelings of anxiety and enhance our wellbeing. Whether it be a short guided practice focusing on deep breathing and your senses, or a few moments outside or in the garden taking in sights and sounds, it’s a great way to focus your attention and enjoy that very moment.

Make time just for you

Make sure you have some time just for you to relax, unwind and have some much needed self-care. Focus on the things you don’t normally have time to do during your hectic day to day life. Reading, take a bath, have a clear out, enjoy fresh air, go for walks, exercise or your hobbies. At times of uncertainty and change we often put others needs before our own whether it be family, children, parents and partners. Making time for you will allow yourself that much needed reflection time to allow yourself to acknowledge your own thoughts and feelings.

Acknowledge your worry and anxiety

Strangely enough, writing down your worries can overtime reduce the amount of worries you will have. When we pay attention to our worrying thoughts it allows us to see them more rationally. Have a notepad where you can write down your worries as you start to notice them in your mind. Worries tend to be things that haven’t happened yet or have already happened, things that are outside of our control or tasks we may be avoiding. When you see your worry written down you will be able to then determine whether it is worth worrying over or perhaps something you need to do. Ask yourself ‘what would happen if I didn’t worry about this?’ The answer is always nothing. So instead of allowing your subconscious mind to carry lots of worry and anxiety, let them go by writing them down.

Practice gratitude

Expressing feelings of gratitude are a great way of relieving stress and anxiety and thinking more positively. Look at the bigger picture of what is happening, try to have flexibility in your thinking and flip your perspective. Give gratitude and cherish the good things you have in your life by writing down every day the things you are grateful for.

Acknowledge any change in your behaviour

Our thoughts can often determine how we feel and behave and anxiety will often present itself to us physically. Notice whether you are having any trouble sleeping or resting, or are turning to food or alcohol as a way of coping with emotions. Are you someone who is usually quite active who isn’t exercising as much? All of these can often tell us a story of how we really may be feeling. Make sure your choosing helpful coping strategies such as exercise, mindfulness, talking to people or doing any of the things you usually enjoy. 

Try not to re-create the past

Remember a lot has changed in the world since the pandemic and life won’t immediately feel the same as it once did. This is an opportunity for you to create your new normal which focuses on you, your family and what you choose to learn from this experience. Ease into society at a pace which suits you.

Training to understand and manage anxiety

If you are struggling with anxiety training can help you to learn more about how to better manage this aspect, as well as many other of your mental health training. You can find further information on our Mental Health article. If you would like to find our more about our training take a look at the Talkout Guides webpage or take a look at our upcoming Mental Health Training Courses.

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