Are you ready for life after lock-down? In this post I’m taking a look at why you might still be feeling anxious, what you can do to to help yourself re-adjust and give some practical advice on coping if panic sets in.
How are you feeling?
There’s no doubt that the last 18 months have been a roller coaster ride for all of us and we’ve had to adapt to a very different lifestyle to the one we knew before.
We’ve lived with loss, fear for our own health and that of our loved ones. We’ve gone without being able to visit and hug those that we love. We’ve faced money worries, job worries, the stress of home schooling and the fatigue of endless video calls. No wonder then that stress and anxiety levels have generally soared.
It would be easy to think that the easing of restrictions will be a relief, that those feelings of anxiety will magically disappear and we can can all go and happily re-discover our old lives.
This simply isn’t the case. The emotions around those losses and fears will take time to process. In addition Anxiety UK reports that many of us are likely to still experience fear about becoming infected with Covid, or infecting others, and this may influence how we live our lives – whether we want to go out into crowded places or even if we want to leave home at all.
We can’t just flick a switch. We’re entering new territory again and we need to do all we can to support our mental health as we re-adjust.
Four ways to help yourself re-adjust:
- Be kind to yourself. Take things slowly, do what you feel comfortable with and build from there. Find time in your day – every day – to do something that you love.
- We are creatures of habit and having a structure to your daily life will provide reassurance and familiarity. Create a new routine for yourself that includes eating well, exercising and connecting with others. Don’t forget to prioritise a good night’s sleep too.
- If you have to venture out to a place you don’t feel comfortable with or you’re unsure about traveling on public transport, plan ahead. Know your route, where you’ll park, where you’ll sit, the quietest time to travel. Positively rehearse your trip in your mind.
- Don’t compare how you feel with how other people appear. We put a face on for the world (especially on social media) and chances are the people you think are having a wonderful time are just as anxious as you underneath. Take a reality check.
What to do if panic strikes
If panic sets in follow these simple steps to feel better quickly:
- Don’t run away – Stay where you are and the feelings will subside.
- Remind yourself that the symptoms you are experiencing are caused by anxiety.
- Remember that feelings of anxiety always subside – no panic attack lasts longer than a few minutes.
- Breathe slowly and gently – in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Focus on your surroundings as your panic starts to subside – what can you see, hear, smell, touch?
Hypnotherapy can help
Please do get in touch if you’d like to find out how hypnotherapy can help you alleviate anxiety and overcome panic.
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