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Anxiety about restrictions being lifted?

5 min read
Anxiety about restrictions being lifted?

The majority of Covid restrictions in Scotland have now been lifted. For many this will signal the beginning of the end of the pandemic, and a return to ‘normality’. For some of us though, this is going to be an anxious time. We might be feeling anxious about going out, meeting friends, or going back into offices without the previous social distancing measures that were in place. This reaction is normal, and there are some simple things that you can do to help yourself.

If you’re worried about going back to the office speak to your line manager – they should be able to reassure you about what will be in place to keep you safe when you return. Equally, if you’re going to be working from home for a little longer and are concerned about the impact this is having on your mental wellbeing, raise these concerns. We’ve put together some helpful tips on Working from Home as well as some on Supporting Teams to help managers support their staff.

If you’re worried about getting back into ‘normal’ life, talk to friends, family or trusted colleagues about how you’re feeling. You might find they share your concerns – support one another through these times. Most places are going to feel busier, but with cafes, pubs, restaurants, and shops more accessible, outdoor spaces like parks and public gardens may be that bit quieter. You might feel more comfortable easing yourself back into things by meeting people outdoors to begin with. Just because we can meet more people in more places doesn’t mean that we have to. Take things at your own pace and build up confidence gradually. The pandemic has taught us all how to keep connected at a distance, and to develop creative ways of keeping ourselves entertained. Just because things are opening up again doesn’t mean we can’t continue with some of these things.

When you are out and about, try to keep in mind some of the things we still have to keep us safe from the virus such as wearing a face covering in shops and on public transport. Most of us will now have had both doses of the vaccine. While this won’t make you invincible, it does make it much less likely that you will catch Covid and that the severity of illness is lessened.

Think about your breathing. Taking slow, deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth, as you’re walking out the house. Have a listen to this 10-minute guided relaxation podcast.

Keep a routine. Regular sleep and activity will help you feel more in control. If you’re having difficulty sleeping, try Sleepio.

Be kind to yourself and other people. We’ve never had to deal with a situation like this before, so don’t be hard on yourself for the way you’re feeling. Try not to be too hard on others either. It can feel frustrating seeing people slip back into the ‘old normal’, but remember, restrictions have been tough for everyone and we will all feel differently about them easing.

Try one of these apps. Daylight or Feeling Good are very helpful for managing anxiety, and Silvercloud has a number of programmes to help reduce stress and build resilience. Visit the Free apps and online programmes page of this site for details on how to register for these.

If you can, listen to or view our webinar session on Using Mindfulness to cope with anxiety about a Post-Covid future. You can watch a video of the session here or you can find a podcast version here, which is also available on our Spotify page.

For more tips to help with anxiety, follow this link to visit Clear Your Head.

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