It’s natural to feel a mixture of emotions as we experience the closest snippet of normality since the start of Covid-19.
Excitement and relief are some emotions notably found to reflect the easing of restrictions, the falling impacts of the pandemic and the reduction of covid risks. Yet with such change follows the emotions of fear and anxiety, of irritability and of worry, due to the unforeseeable future of post-lockdown life.
Post lockdown anxiety is a common, normal, and expected feeling, set of symptoms and response to such change. Whether anxiety is brought on by the return of social events, by a quick pace of change or by an unclear path towards a covid-free world, reactions are natural, impacting 36% of people through recent research.
Ignoring or denying post lockdown anxiety can result in significant mental health challenges, making this already difficult and unfamiliar period an even tougher time.
To instead understand, manage and suppress symptoms of anxiety, coping through post lockdown life and change will be encouraged. Here are some tips to cope with post lockdown anxiety, along with some signs to be aware of.
At Cassiobury Court, we’re available to assist you through the diagnosis and treatment of post lockdown anxiety.
What is Post Lockdown Anxiety?
Anxiety and fear are natural responses to an unfamiliar, unpredictable, and uncontrolled situation. All in fact reflect the reality that covid-19 has caused, from promoting local lockdowns to an unforeseeable way out from its grasp.
Post lockdown anxiety is therefore a reasonable response to the adaptations to and easing of regulations and restrictions. We’ve gone from one extreme to the other, without much insight, which can naturally increase worry, paranoia, and questioning.
The return of social situations is found as one of the catalysts for post lockdown anxiety, due to the isolating feelings that lockdowns have incurred. Reverting such a reality can be very difficult to experience, displaying symptoms of social anxiety. Research has found that 23% of people in fact feel pressured to bounce back post-covid, standing as a symptom of post lockdown anxiety.
Post lockdown anxiety causes are also found within symptoms of health anxiety, where the worry of contracting and spreading the virus remains high. Leaving lockdown is seen as a trigger, tying negative outcomes and thoughts to such steps.
Both covid-19 and lockdowns have impacted every individual across the globe differently. Yet, through the unprecedented experience, post lockdown anxiety is a prevalent, personal reaction, causing many challenges along the way.
What are the Mental Health challenges?
Post lockdown anxiety is a mental health concern, which if untreated can develop into further challenges. Through experiencing this type of anxiety, concerns surround the ability to adjust to normal life, to a reality that reflects pre-covid, and around the risks of developing further anxiety types, such as social and health anxiety.
It is very normal to experience suppressed mental health through the unfamiliarity and dysfunctional step of lockdowns. It is also natural to respond similarly through the easing of lockdowns, as both the severity of covid and the scaremongering of its presence has increased alertness and fear.
Depression, compulsive and obsessive behaviours, paranoia, phobias, and mood disorders are also prevalent and just as common as post lockdown anxiety. All can be challenging to live with, while the world restarts, where expectations change, and where pace intensifies.
Understanding the signs of post lockdown anxiety and further conditions is therefore very important, to gauge whether support is necessary, along with the prevalence of self-help management.
Signs of post lockdown Anxiety
The anxiety of any nature can present itself through physical and psychological changes, signs, and symptoms. Through post lockdown anxiety, displaying those symptoms will be likely, yet surrounding the triggers of covid, lockdowns and a new norm.
- Physical signs of anxiety including excessive sweating, palpitations, nervous energy, heightened blood pressure and headaches
- Psychological signs including irritability, paranoia, unpredictable mood swings, insomnia, panic, and extreme worry
- Feeling triggered by the easing of lockdowns and restrictions
- Displaying signs of social anxiety or health anxiety
- Worrying about the pressure of change
- Feeling behind, worried or isolated from our new norm
- Feeling anxious around social events, returning to work, or ultimately the future of post-covid life
- Finding it hard to readjust to normal responsibilities
- Actively isolating oneself from change
- Overthinking and worrying about aspects of post lockdown life
- Worrying about contracting and passing on the virus, to an obsessive level
Triggers and symptoms of post lockdown anxiety will be personal, as responses will differ depending on the motivator of anxiety, how lockdown has panned out, and the consequences of covid-19. Yet, experiencing a handful of the above symptoms is an indication that both support and management will be beneficial to cope with post lockdown anxiety.
Tips to cope with post lockdown anxiety
1. Pace yourself
It can be easy to get ahead and follow the curve of society through post lockdown life. Social distancing regulations are now easing, which may make you feel like you must revert to old ways of communicating and engaging.
Pacing yourself will ensure that you can control your responses, that you can feel comfortable and that you can make changes through your own decisions when considering post lockdown life. Take each engagement, plan, or event as a step-by-step process to reach the confidence to overcome post lockdown anxiety.
If this means that you will need to continue to wear a mask, decline events or ask for space, such suggestions will be beneficial for your mental health.
2. Follow credible information
This far you may have felt bombarded with information, from the news to online outlets and hearsay. Instead of fixating on such unreliable information, look towards credible sources, to understand which changes are happening and how to manoeuvre through post lockdown reality.
3. Do not avoid your anxieties
Anxiety can be difficult to face up to. Many sufferers will push their feelings away, will isolate themselves or will work to avoid triggers to an unhealthy level. It is important to slowly build yourself back up to a point of management, to face up to post lockdown anxiety.
Setting yourself small, manageable tasks, goals and schedules will help you face up to your triggers, yet in a controlled and sustainable way.
Feeling agitated, nervous, and burnt out are all symptoms of post lockdown anxiety. To reduce their impacts, looking for relaxation techniques which personally work for you will be recommended. Whether that’s exercise, mindfulness practices, self-care, or reading a book, relaxation will help to offer balance, respite, and some degree of perspective away from the struggles of anxiety.
Communicating your feelings to others will feel scary as you may feel pressured to readjust to normal life. Yet, it is important that you do share your emotions, fears and coping strategies to ensure that those around you can support you through your recovery journey. Building a trustworthy network will help you through this emotional process.
6. Write down your thoughts
The mind will fuel your post lockdown anxiety. Challenging unhelpful thoughts will be one of the most beneficial tips for coping, to gain clarity on your feelings and to focus on the positives of your post lockdown reality. Writing down your thoughts, understanding them and moving on from them will offer motivation and the platform to manage your anxiety.
7. Maintaining a sustainable routine
Your lifestyle choices will directly impact your wellbeing. By setting yourself a sustainable routine that highlights healthy nutrition, sleep, relaxation, positive and supportive relationships, and steps that will help you reach your goals, you’ll have the tools to suppress your symptoms of post lockdown anxiety.
Post lockdown anxiety is an unfamiliar set of symptoms due to the unforeseen nature of covid-19. However, such symptoms are encountered, making this adjustment step difficult for many. If you’re struggling with anxiety through this step, reaching out for support will be recommended, along with implementing the above tips.
We at Cassiobury Court are here to assist with guidance surrounding post lockdown anxiety, armed with relevant treatment services and rehabilitation services to promote recovery. Make use of professional resources through the anxiety of post lockdown life.