Overcoming post-lockdown anxiety

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If returning to life outside of lockdown is inducing a level of worry, you’re not alone. 

For some of us, lockdown has been disruptive at best, but by now we’re somewhat used to it — the new normal, so to speak. The ability to opt out of all the pressures of the outside world has come as a welcome relief, and with more time to sleep, read, and reflect, some of us are even seeing our moods improve adjusting to a slower pace of life. 

However, after being inside for a long time it is naturally going to feel strange and challenging for people to start to return to their pre-pandemic routine and venture into unknown territory. What will life after lockdown look like? How easy will it be to adjust to? How can we ensure that we’ll be safe? Since there are many unknown possibilities, it can cause people to worry about the future outside of lockdown. 

So, what can we do to help overcome this post-pandemic anxiety? Here’s our top tips: 

  • Take one day at a time; don’t try and think about what it will be like for the next few months, just focus on today and tomorrow, as it won’t be so overwhelming.
  • Accept that there are things you can’t control and many that you can; you can’t control the lockdown lifting, but you can control how much news you consume and how much time you give to thinking about a post-lockdown life.
  • Be prepared; create a checklist with everything you need before you leave your house and make sure you have essentials like a face mask and hand sanitiser.  
  • Focus on positive coping strategies such as exercise, meditation, walking outside and fresh air rather than food, drink or smoking. 
  • Monitor your inner dialogue; are your thoughts helpful or are they contributing to your feelings of anxiety?
  • Get help if you need it; if anxiety is significantly affecting your mood and you’re struggling to cope, make sure to reach out to family and friends, your GP or the University’s Support team for help.

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