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Coping with Post Lockdown Anxiety

As lockdown restrictions ease for some people the easing of lockdown restrictions has been something to celebrate. It has been a sign of hope that they are able to take small steps towards normality again.

But for others the idea of stepping out of their front doors in to this new, different world is a source of stress and anxiety. They may be feeling a mixture of emotions.

As there may be some things that they may be really looking forward to, there may be others that may leave you feeling overwhelmed or anxious.

I will share some ideas to help you or your loved ones cope with any anxious feelings of post-lockdown anxiety and how you can ease into the world of new normal.

1. Take it slow

It is important to remember that it is normal to experience a mixture of highs and lows as things are starting to get back to normal slowly. It is quite natural to have some apprehensions and have nervous and anxious feelings as you venture out again and get used to the world of the new normal.

You might feel nervous about getting out of your comfort zone again and navigating situations you haven’t been in for a long time. The key is to recognise this and take things one step at a time. Go at a pace that suits you and recognise that your experience and feelings may be different to others around you and so it is important that you don’t compare your experience to anyone else’s.

So, remember that you should not pressurise yourself to feel better about this straight away. Instead taking it slowly and one small step at a time to help you overcome your anxiety.

2. Deal with your Worry or Fear

Try to accept that any worries, fears or concerns you have are natural and to be expected. Talk about your feelings with someone you feel comfortable talking to. The chances are that they may be experiencing similar feelings. So opening up about how you’re feeling can help you both to feel supported and understood. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone you know, you can talk to someone in confidence. You can also reach out to organisations like Mind UK, British Red Cross, Rethink Mental Illness or NHS.

3. Plan ahead

You should consider the circumstances in which you may feel particularly anxious and decide what you could do in these conditions to help ease your concerns.

For example, if you’re anxious about taking public transport, can you find another way to travel? If not, could you travel at a quieter time of day when there may be less people around?

If you’re worried about returning to work, you could speak to your manager and see how they could help you ease your worries. Taking a problem solving approach can help in a situation like this.

4. Focus on the positives

Look for the small positives in your day to day life that help you feel better about lockdown easing and your situation.

"It could be something like meeting for a walk in the park with a friend that you have not seen for a long time, wearing something other than a tracksuit, visiting the garden centre. If you focus on the positives that will make you feel better and make you enjoy the small steps you will be taking towards appreciating the new normal.

You might find it helpful to keep a gratitude journal, where you write down what you’re grateful for each day.

5. Look after your wellbeing

Take care of your physical health as that can help you cope with feelings of anxiety and stressful situations when they arise. Eating a healthy diet, regular exercise and good quality sleep is really important for good health

Taking time out for self-care and looking after yourself will help gradually build up and make you feel comfortable. Remember that you can set boundaries and turn down invitations if you need to.

The more you practice and focus on easing yourself into the new normal the better you will feel.

Namita Bhatia

Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist

Tel: 07305 595 603


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