For many, the easing of restrictions and coming out of endless lockdowns can’t come soon enough. It feels like a lifetime ago when life was normal, masks were unseen, and tiers were unheard of. Lockdown became a familiar, almost safe zone.
But, lockdowns have also meant that you’ve not been able to push yourself into situations that are less familiar.
That’s why I have decided to put together five tips to boost your wellbeing post lockdown.
1. Learning about what’s within your control
In life, there are things we can control, and others we can’t. A huge skill to master is to figure out how to let go of the things we can’t control. The UK has been in and out of lockdowns and restrictions for eighteen months. For people that like to keep control over situations in life, it can be overwhelming. Having to follow many rules being forced upon us, life has been very different.
Each evening, think about the anxious thoughts that may have arisen throughout your day. For those you can’t do anything about, acknowledge them and then let them go. However, if you have worries you can do something about, write a list of goals you can achieve.
For example, if you have a family event coming this summer, but the thought of being around a bunch of people again terrifies you… create small manageable goals to achieve first. For example, step one could be to meet with a friend over coffee and step two visit a supermarket or shopping centre. Step three could be to meet with a larger number of friends of family. Anxiety needs to be slowly chipped away at, and bit by bit you will be able to ease yourself out of your comfort zone until eventually it grows.
2. Pace yourself
As above, it is important to pace yourself as restrictions ease. Doing too much in one go will become overwhelming and draining on your mental load. Just because everyone else may seem to be rushing out to do everything all at once, it doesn’t mean you have to as well. Please do remember social media is a highlight reel.
But also, don’t let anxiety win. Do things as and when you’re ready. Take youre time at a gentle pace – and as time suits you.
3. Communicate with those around you
If you are finding things incredibly overwhelming and daunting, don’t forget to speak to those around you. Whether that’s friends or family, or your manager at work. If you open up about your fears and concerns, they should be able to empathise and help you deal with the anxiety.*
Talking to those you trust can help you to understand what you are feeling anxious about and helps you to process your thoughts and feelings. They may also be able to support you to move forward – if not, orgnisations like Dorset Mind can help.
4. Keep healthy boundaries in place
If you had healthy boundaries in place with those in your life, whether that’s work or personal, don’t undo your hard work. It’s more important now than ever to ensure you have clear boundaries in place so that you don’t burn out.
5. Practise mindfulness
Life will be overwhelming for a while.
Practise mindfulness so you can learn to focus more on the present moment and not let your thoughts run away in your mind. This will help you to take control in situations you may find daunting as we come out of lockdown. A well-known grounding technique is to focus on 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can smell, 2 things you can feel and 1 thing you can taste.
And finally, remember, nothing is a race! Do things as and when you feel comfortable, but also don’t let anxiety rule your life.
Bit by bit, you can do this.
Huge thanks to our blogger…
Our guest blogger this week is Gayleen Hodson, find out more about her here.