As we move further along Boris’ roadmap out of lockdown and restrictions begin to ease, there finally appears to be a glimmer of hope on the horizon. While we may be living in the shadow of Covid-19 for some time yet, we can tentatively start looking forward to getting out and about, meeting friends and expanding our shrunken world.
But not everyone will be looking forward to reintegration. Levels of stress and anxiety are higher than ever as we struggle to cope with the changes and challenges brought by the pandemic.
If you’re reluctant to step out of your safety bubble and reintegrate into ‘normal’ life, here are a few practical suggestions that may help you cope with adjusting to life post lockdown:
- Baby steps – If you haven’t left the house for the best part of a year, going into town is likely to trigger anxiety. Start small – meet up with a few friends when restrictions ease, visit less crowded places first until you get used to busy spaces. Remember that metal box with wheels sitting in your drive? Take it out for a spin when the roads aren’t too busy.
- Smile behind your mask – Social contact is a basic human need that we have been deprived of this past year. Recognising another human with a smile or eye contact is known to reduce stress levels and contributes to immune health.
- Essential oils – Aromatherapy oils have an instant effect on how you feel due to the direct link from the nose to the limbic system – the part of the brain responsible for our emotions. Take a few drops of essential oil on a tissue or an Aromastick out with you & have a sniff if you feel a bit wobbly. Bergamot is a great stress buster, citrus oils like lemon & orange are fab ‘pick me ups’ and Lavender can help bring feelings of calm.
- Grounding technique – 5-4-3-2-1 When you’re overwhelmed by your thoughts, tap into your senses to anchor back to the present moment. Look for 5 things you can see, think of 4 things you can touch, listen to 3 sounds around you, become aware of 2 smells and taste 1 thing.
- It’s good to talk – It can help to talk to a friend about any overwhelming thoughts or feelings about coming out of lockdown. If these thoughts are negatively affecting your quality of life, the support of a professional therapist can make a real difference.
I look forward to re-opening my treatment room in the village of Preston, between Sandwich and Canterbury, on 19th April. If you are experiencing physical and emotional symptoms of stress post lockdown, drop me a message and let’s chat about how I can support you.