Post lock down anxiety: “I don’t want to break free”
Prior to lockdown, anxiety was an issue for many in relation to various issues, general anxieties, relationships, work, every day living traumatic events, phobias and fears etc.
News from Wuhan brought a different kind of anxiety into our lives, with stories, warnings and news on coronavirus all accessible through our electronic devices. A new fear that spread across the world - perhaps some of our other anxieties and worries were overridden by this new anxiety and fear?
Anxieties quickly developed about not being able to get hand gel, toilet rolls or pasta and this made the top ten news stories developing inperpetuating our anxieties and many felt compelled to buy more. Anxieties rose again when we were told we could be in a lockdown period, but that this would be for just three weeks. The word ‘surreal’ was used often to try to understand the pandemic that was unfolding before our eyes. No cure! Furthermore, it wasn’t just happening here but all across the globe. How would we cope? How would we adapt? Changes to our lifestyle became rapid and an order to “Stay home stay safe” was enforced on every bus stop, poster, TV ad and even the news.
Being furloughed was another thing that may have impacted the anxiety of many, whilst not knowing of the full implications of working from home/not working at all, and another new word to add to our vocabulary. All sporting events, pubs, bars, restaurants, shops, barbers/hairdressers and workplaces had closed, without any idea of when they would be able to open again. We had never seen this before. New worries developed about our jobs, educational settings and isolation.
But then things became a lot more serious as the death toll grew. Concern grew for our loved ones over the age of seventy years of age, and then we heard of younger people dying from COVID-19, which undeniably raised anxiety to the highest degree, thinking ‘this could really happen to my loved one or me!’ But we were all most definitely in it together.
“As a human species we found other ways to adapt and cope”
However, we kept busy painting fence panels up and down the country, along with all of those other DIY jobs that partners have been hounding us to do for months prior! Using our digital connections, we found new ways to cope. Platforms such as Zoom, Skype, phone messaging and the likes kept us connected. Daily fitness classes, home schooling and family quiz all via our digital platforms. Social distancing and the carers clap all became the new norm - all of this helping to calm our anxious feelings and keeping us connected.
“A further feared situation”
Post Lockdown axiety:
Lock down is easing… but now we face a new challenge and our anxieties are changing again. For some, it is that feared situation of going back to work or wondering if they will still have a job? For others, they may be hesitant to go back to work because they are fearful of catching the virus and feel safer staying at home.
Meanwhile, some of us are simply enjoying the new way of working at home without the anxieties of a commute. Our anxieties and fear prior to lock down may have been about working from home but now, for many of us, we would rather it stay this way because ‘we don’t want to break free.’
Whatever your feared situation is, either right now or in the future, always remember these simple steps:
- Be mindful - Rate your feeling out of 10, engage with your breath - maybe download an app such as headspace or listen to a calming video. Breathe therapies have a great one here.
- Keep Healthy - Get outside, if you can. This might even be a short walk.
- Keep connected - Keep connected with the people around you - family, friends and work colleagues via our electronic devices and face to face, within the government recommendations.
- Keep learning - Learn new ways of being. If you have not already done so, discover digital technologies, a recipe, and language or get growing some flowers in the garden!
- Give to others - Random acts of kindness make the world a better place.
- Save Lives - Remember “social distancing saves lives”
Diane Feeney - Counsellor and CBT Therapist at Breathe Therapist.