How will it feel stepping out into the world again?
For many of us, restrictions are easing further and we are now looking to start fully stepping out into the world again.
We have been used to staying in our own space, and being in control of what we do, touch etc, so it will feel different moving out of our own little world.
Here are my top tips for coping with the emotional impact of moving to the next stage:
1. Don’t compare yourself to others
As we emerge from lockdown, there is always going to be someone who has achieved much more than you.
If you look at your Facebook or Instagram feed, people will be showing the absolute best version of themselves.
And you probably aren’t comparing like with like – you may not have had the resources and supports that they had, and they may not have had the pressures that you had.
So, no, you didn’t learn to play the guitar, paint a masterpiece, learn a new language – but you have come out the other side in one piece, and that is an achievement in itself.
2. The thoughts of the lockdown ending can be scary
In most countries, the authorities have done their best to scare the bejaysus out of us, to make sure that we took it seriously.
No one knows what is going to happen in the future, so it make take us some time to become unscared.
As the restrictions ease, we are no longer in control so there wlll be fear there – I know that I have definitely felt very uncomfortable at times and was surprised at myself.
People have been looking forward to getting out of lockdown but it may not be that straightforward, so on to my next point….
3. Give Yourself Space To Process
While at some level, you may welcome the easing of restrictions but as restrictions ease, you may feel more emotional, problems may be heightened, and you may need a bit of time to adjust to the new normal.
Take your time and allow yourself to feel and process your emotions as they arise. This will enable you to move through these emotions more quickly.
4. Be Kind To Yourself
It’s been intense!! And maybe things didn’t go quite the way you thought they would.
Rather than giving yourself a hard time, imagine that you are speaking to your best friend/partner who you dearly love.
Most of the time, we wouldn’t dream of saying to others what we say to ourselves in our own minds.
What you could do is at the end of each day, go back through your day and congratulate yourself on what you have achieved during the day – no matter how small.
Think about what would you say to your good friend?
You would probably encourage them and congratulate them on what they have managed to do so be kind to yourself.
You’re worth it!
5. Be Kind To Others
A while back, I was listening to the radio and they were talking about someone in a queue at a local butcher in an affluent area and they were getting very impatient and were quite vociferous about it. There was a lot of judgement about this person – and a complete lack of understanding or compassion for what they may have been going through.
My guess is, their outburst probably had nothing to do with the queue – they probably had all of this pent up emotion and unfortunately the butcher was the one who got it.
There are going to be more queues than usual, things will take longer, so tempers may be frayed.
I’m not saying that you should allow others to treat you as a punching bag but maybe meeting someone with compassion is just what they need, and could help diffuse things.
6. It’s Good To Talk
Yes, it is good to be moving on from lockdown, but you may have mixed feelings about this. If you are struggling, talk to friends and family (the ones who will make you feel better!), about how you are feeling.
If you don’t anyone that you feel safe talking to, see if you can hook up with a professional or a group to help you through this.
7. The Impact Of Covid May Hit You At A Later Date
We have never lived in times like these and hopefully won’t any time soon. From my experience of working with people throughout Covid 19, no two people have exactly the same reaction.
Some people have not had any reaction to it at all so far, and it may have been that they haven’t had space to do this.
Once things start to ease and things relax a bit more, it may hit them then.
I have seen this delayed reaction working with people who have had cancer.
When they were diagnosed, they were immediately put on the treadmill of treatment, and it is only after they have finished their treatment when they had time to catch a breath, that the enormity of what had happened to them hit home.
This is completely normal and if this happens to you, and you need some support, do please talk to someone and if you need professional help, please get it.
8. Take A Deep Breath And Take One Step At A Time
Stepping back out again and getting back to some sort of normality can all feel quite overwhelming so remember, you don’t have to do everything at once.
Select one small thing that you can do, and take a deep breath and take one step at a time.
9. Go At Your Own Pace
We all come from different circumstances and have our own health and emotional backgrounds. So stepping back into the world is going to be different for everyone.
Go at the pace that is right for you and only do what you are comfortable with.
10. You’re Going To Be Ok
I remember my initial reaction when Covid hit was that I was in a state of shock and wondered, can I build myself back up again?
Well, I’m still here, things have changed and I have adapted and changed with them.
Certainly, the way I work has changed (it’s all Zoom now!), and I have to re-build but I’m going to be ok.
I will get through this and you will too.
If the thoughts of getting easing restrictions is causing you to feel stress and you would like to talk, please feel free to contact me.