Post-lockdown Anxiety: Looking After Your Mental Health
ADT Blog – Post-lockdown Anxiety: Looking After Your Mental Health
Since the rapid (and largely successful) rollout of the vaccine in the UK, lockdown restrictions have slowly begun to ease. Most of us haven’t socialised with more than one other household since sometime last year – so while it’s exciting to see shops and restaurants reopening, the prospect of getting out there is also a little nerve-racking.
After a such a long time looking forward to restrictions subsiding, post-lockdown anxiety might be an unexpected side effect, but it’s certainly not an uncommon one. A recent survey by Anxiety UK found that 36% of participants would be happy to keep staying at home. With this in mind, we’ve put together a short list of tips to help you look after your mental health post-lockdown, and feel secure as you readjust to life in public.
Take it slow.
There’s no obligation to dive straight back into social engagements at full speed. Why not try spreading out your plans, so you have something to look forward to each week? You might also want to factor in plenty of time at home to recharge between activities, so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
Whether you continue to work from home or return to the office, make sure to take care of yourself. If you’re onsite, keep yourself and others safe by following precautions – but make sure to check in with yourself, taking regular breaks when you need them. Make sure to tell superiors if you’re uncomfortable with your working environment, and don’t be afraid to contact an outside source like Citizens Advice for further help.
Order a batch of home test kits.
Unless you can get tests from your workplace, you’re now entitled to order free rapid lateral flow tests for coronavirus from the GOV.UK website. You can take these twice weekly for that additional peace of mind before you venture out anywhere.
Phone, wallet, keys, mask!
Heading out to meet a friend for a walk? Even if you don’t think you’ll need a mask, put one in your pocket before you leave. That way, if you find yourself in a crowded spot, you can pop it on as an extra precaution, and you won’t be caught short if you need to pick up milk on the way back.
Have a break from the news.
While it’s important you stay up to date with changing restrictions, try and limit your daily consumption of the news. Doomscrolling before bed isn’t going to solve any global problems – just keep you up for another few hours.
Do your research.
This goes for every kind of post-lockdown plan – whether it be going back into the office, returning to the gym or taking your kids to school. If you’re feeling anxious, research what kind of safety measures are in place, so you’ll know what to expect when you get there. Can’t find the information you need online? Reach out to someone within the organisation; every business, school and workplace is obliged to operate in a covid-safe manner, so there’ll be able to reassure you.
Ask for help.
Organisations like Mind, Hafal and SAMH offer tailored support to those struggling with mental health problems throughout the pandemic - but if you’re experiencing a crisis or mental health emergency, you can find out how to get urgent assistance on the NHS website. Asking for help can be difficult, but plenty of charities and healthcare experts are ready to support you.
These simple steps should help to safeguard your mental health as you ease your way back into normal life, so you can get back to doing the things you love. However, if you need a little more help, don’t be afraid to ask for an extra helping hand.
To read more tips on finding calm in a busy environment, take a look at ADT’s guide to finding peace of mind.