Anxiety about life after lockdown
Life has been extraordinary recently, surreal and like something from a dystopian film set: when what used to be simply nipping to the shops for a pint of milk or toilet rolls has become a strategically planned battle that has huge time implications and can be extremely anxiety-provoking. What used to be the mundane such as commuting to work, visiting relatives, hugging a friend, mingling at the school gates, visiting your hairdresser, a stroll in a park or a visit to a pub has left some of us yearning to have that simplistic life with freedom and choice back again.
As restrictions have begun to ease however, it seems to have generated a whole new cycle of anxiety for some of us as we are having to make many adjustments to our life regularly. It is a natural response to feel anxious when forced with uncertainty and situations that we are unable to control.
The impact of lockdown
Some of us have been able to work from home and returning to life outside our bubble can generate anxiety in itself, whilst others, essential workers, in particular, have paved the way for the rest of us, risking their own health. Many of us have had endless worries as our world has become smaller, metaphorically and literally, about our families and friends; our health; employment; finances; housing, home-schooling, missed planned weddings; holidays and trips to the gym and theatre and sadly lost loved ones, denied ‘proper’ funerals and have experienced grieving alone and felt loneliness. Maybe your usual support network has not been available to you.
Conversely, lockdown may have given you new opportunities and you may be anxious about life returning to the way it was. You may have evaluated your life and re-prioritised. You may have been ‘furloughed’ and de-stressed, been given time and space to reflect on a new way of being, taken up new hobbies, have quality time with your family and enjoyed the solitude. For you, it may have given you the chance to enjoy being in your own environment. You may have different values than before. You may have preferred a world with less pollution; less dashing around, no events and family gatherings to organise, relinquishing a life as an endless ‘to-do’ list and now worry about the return to a job you realise makes you unhappy, commuting, social distancing, reducing close proximity to other households, wearing masks in everyday life, fear of catching Coronavirus, passing it on, sanitisation in the workplace and the economy.
Do you now feel optimistic or pessimistic about your future? Maybe you have felt stressed recently, had difficulty sleeping and had physical symptoms.
Is this you? Counselling and psychotherapy could be of benefit to you.
How counselling can help
Looking after your well-being can help to reduce the impact that stress has on our lives. Building emotional resilience is about adapting to challenging circumstances in the face of adversity - something everyone can attest to. Making lifestyle changes may include self-care and seeking therapy. If you are struggling with your mental health at the moment ask for help, seek counselling to explore those feelings with someone in a safe, supportive, confidential space, without judgment.
A counselling session can help you to deal with post- lockdown anxiety and support you in moving forward.
Having someone to talk to openly in a safe space, who is there purely to listen to you talk about your feelings, can be beneficial and a genuinely unique source of support.
Often talking to family and friends can be a barrier to talking honestly. Counselling can help you cope with your mental health. It can address any emotions not previously tapped into in these confusing times and any issues and difficult life events and relationship problems in a safe, supportive space without judgment or criticism. By sharing and exploring your thoughts and feelings with a person-centred therapist, it can help you find your own solutions to a problem without them telling you what to do. You can start to regain control of your life.
Counselling can provide support whilst you try to adapt to a new situation, provide clarity and make it easier to cope. It can increase self-awareness and improve quality of life and help to reduce any anxious and depressive symptoms - you don’t need to cope alone. Counselling offers time for you to talk about any issues, time to think, cry, reflect with someone who will respect you.
Counselling can empower you and help you make positive change.