Anxious About Life After Lockdown

Lockdown is easing in the UK and things are slowly going back to normal…well the “new normal”. People are outside in the sun, on beaches, having picnics in the park with their friends and family. Some are social distancing and some are not. Of course, it’s normal to feel angry at those who aren’t following the rules and I’ve had a lot of those angry feelings during these past four months.

All over my social media, I see people enjoying their time outside, not a care in the world. I think to myself, how are people doing it? Have they forgotten that we have been in lockdown for most of this year? How can they just go back to normal?

Mental illness thrives in isolation.

I have been really sticking to the rules of this lockdown. I barely went outside. Four months in lockdown, no work, no social contact other than with my own household – it’s bound to get comfortable. It’s certainly comfortable for my anxiety. Mental illness thrives in isolation.

What is making me upset at the moment is readjusting to life outside of lockdown. I haven’t been on public transport in four months, I haven’t been in an Uber in four months. I haven’t been shopping (something I love to do) for four months and I haven’t even worked for four months. I haven’t even stepped outside of the house by myself, without a household member. My anxiety is all over the place at the moment due to the thought of doing those things again.

It’s easy for some. I know lots of people who haven’t really followed the government guidelines so readjusting to life outside of lockdown is no problem for them.

But for those of us who have stuck to the rules but also have concerns about lockdown being lifted, it’s very tough to suddenly start seeing people again and being social. I’ve been safe at home all this time and now after a long time, we are allowed to do normal stuff again.

I’m scared and worried about the new normal and how we all need to change the way we behave in public.

It’s scary for me. The thought of going outside, by myself, even to the park is making me feel anxious. I’m scared of the virus, I’m scared of a second spike. I hate that it’s something that is out of my control. I’m scared and worried about the new normal and how we all need to change the way we behave in public. Change is terrifying.

So spare of thought for those of us who are struggling with the thought of lockdown being lifted. For those of us who haven’t been working for four months, for those who have lost their jobs and back on the job hunt again – it’s going to take a bit longer for us to get used to all this.

I recognise that I need to do this at my own pace and that’s okay.

Don’t rush your friend who might not be feeling up to going to that BBQ or that family member who might not be ready to go into a different family household. For me, I think I’ll be okay if I start slowly, avoiding big crowds at first such as on public transport. I need to start easing myself in slowly by taking a walk locally. I recognise that I need to do this at my own pace and that’s okay.

Things have dramatically changed for everyone in the world and it has affected some more than others but that’s okay. Listen to them, don’t minimise their feelings and let them do things at their own pace. It’s going to be okay. After all, we are all in this together, right?

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