In 2020 the word of the year was ‘lockdown’ and it looks like lockdown will still be relevant in 2021. Fortunately, with the production and rollout of multiple vaccines, we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Leaving lockdown and returning to life in the new normal will offer a different sort of challenge for many people. Leaving lockdown may feel like you’re Maria from the Sound of Music leaving the convent for the first time. I think it is important to remember that it’s normal to be anxious about returning to life after lockdown. I’ve been thinking about life after lockdown a good bit recently. Here are some things that have helped ease my anxiety around life after lockdown.
1. Talk to friends and family about how you’re feeling
One of the first things that I think is important to remember is that you are not alone. Many of us are feeling anxious and nervous returning to life after lockdown. Try to speak to your friends and family about your fears and identify what you can do before lockdown lifts to ease these fears.
2. Continue to follow the government guidelines
Following the government’s advice is very important when returning to life after lockdown. There will be some restrictions in place for some time until we have reached a better rate of vaccination in the population. Make sure that you are up to date with government advice so that you can take all the necessary measures to keep you and your family safe from Covid.
3. Remember that it’s ok to say no
Once lockdown lifts many people will be very eager to return to life as it was before Covid-19. There will be many events, nights out, and parties that you may be invited to. Remember that it is okay to say no if you don’t want to attend the event. Perhaps you can ease yourself into things by meeting up with a few friends. You can then work your way up to bigger groups of people and events. Talk to your friends about what you want to do once lockdown lifts. Talk about your own ideas. Try not to feel peer pressure, and only do things that you feel comfortable in.
4. Make a list of things you’re looking forward to
Lockdown has led many of us to appreciate the life we had before Covid-19 existed. One thing that may be helpful is creating a bucket list of the things you have always wanted to do. Whether it’s stargazing, skydiving, or midnight picnics, creating a list of fun things may make it easier to think about returning to life in the new normal.
5. Make time for yourself
A flurry of social events will be planned once lockdown is lifted. I think it is very important that amongst all the activities, you remember to take for yourself, to recharge. If there are any hobbies that you enjoyed during lockdown, try not to neglect them and continue to try new things. The same advice stands for habits you may have picked up. If you found that walking or meditating each day helped you feel good, continue to do these new practices after lockdown lifts.
6. Make a motivational playlist
A final piece of advice is very simple: create a playlist with all your favourite songs. If you love Pop, Rock or Musicals add those songs to the playlist that will get you excited and ease your nerves as you return to life after lockdown. This will be the motivational playlist that you can put on before you return to work or meet up with friends.
There will be fears and nerves for everyone as we return to life after lockdown. Restrictions will remain in place for some time and it may be another year before life really returns to what we knew before. Hopefully, the advice above helps ease your fear if you’re starting to feel anxious about life after lockdown. It’s vital that we each take the necessary steps to ensure that we feel safe and comfortable in the “new normal.”