Post written in collaboration with AGE UK
The world is an ever-changing place at the moment. After the most surreal year of COVID19 and endless lockdowns, I’m not sure life will ever be quite the same ever again. Everything is different, from popping to the shop or having dinner in a restaurant. Remember when we used to mooch about, without a care in the world? Seems like a lifetime ago. As a creature of habit, I find any changes to the restrictions really unsettling, not just when we go into lockdown, but when restrictions ease it can be unsettling too. So, I wanted to post a few tips that I’ve found useful to ease anxiety during this time – I hope these help!
Take things at your own pace
It seems as soon as things open again there is a mad rush to get it all done. It’s totally understandable that everyone has been bored at home and are itching to get out, but there is no need to rush! Those things will still be there when you are feeling more ready. Avoid the crowds and just do things at your own pace. I found visiting places during the week, early in the mornings best as they’d be empty compared to at the weekend.
Don’t be afraid to say no
As well as rushing out to the shops and attractions I have found as soon as restrictions lift everyone is arranging a BBQ or party! This sudden rush of social activity can be anxiety-inducing, so if you don’t feel comfortable with it, just say no. Maybe you could meet your friends in a smaller group or 1-to-1 to start with. Work out what you feel comfortable with and stick to your guns, if they are good friends, they’ll understand your concerns.
Enjoy your safe zone at home
One thing I’ve learned during lockdown is how much I love my home! It’s not perfect and I can always find something that needs fixing or tidying away, but it’s my safe space and my calm zone (when the toddlers are in bed!). I find so much more joy in a day at home than I ever did, I could potter around the garden endlessly and the children love a chilled day watching movies or playing with their toys. If things have all got too much, have a chilled day at home and recharge in your safe space.
If you are really struggling to get out at all, maybe start off small. The world has been a daunting place over the last year, it’s totally understandable. I avoided going into any shops for over 4 months at the start of lockdown and my first visit out was so surreal – all those new barriers, arrows, restrictions. It’s become so normal now but to start with it felt so odd! So, start off small – a walk around the block, a walk with a friend, a trip to the beach. Just start off staying local and keeping things easy. You can build up over time as your confidence returns. There is no rush!
Start to meet trusted friends and family
As much as we have all been told to stay apart and in our homes, it’s actually really unhealthy to be away from friends and family for too long. Companionship is good for the soul and as daunting as it can be it’s so important to get back into the swing of seeing people again. Slowly and surely. If you’ve been away from people for a long time, maybe call an old friend or family member and meet them outside to start with for a chat. A cup of tea in the garden is a great start! When we were first allowed to meet friends we started going to the park to fly kites and have picnics, it was so lovely to see friendly faces again and gave us all such a boost.
I hope if you are feeling uncertain, these tips will help you get back into the swing of life now restrictions are lifting and you can start to enjoy life on the outside again 🙂