7 Tips for Managing Post Lockdown Anxiety
The unknown around current times has been the cause of anxiety for many of us. Each stage of lockdown has come with its own difficulties to overcome in various ways.
With guidelines relaxing, it would be great if our worries did too. However, after such changes to our “normal”, it’s completely understandable that we’re nervous about this next step, even though it seems to be one in the right direction.
Even though rules are relaxing, it’s still a big change that carries uncertainty, and anxiety often stems from intolerance to change. In this blog, I’ll cover the best ways to manage these anxieties, focus on what you can control and park what you can’t. I want to help you create your own sense of control and ease surrounding our current situation.
My top 7 tips for managing post lockdown anxiety
For starters, it’s important you know that you already have the strategies and coping mechanisms to get through. You’ve been doing it since this all began. When we’re struggling with anxiety, it can often feel neverending and like you can’t cope, but you can and you are.
To continue managing how you feel surrounding this next stage of lockdown, here are my top 7 tips…
1 – See your anxiety as an ally, not an enemy – The ‘Worry’ chapter in Ten Times Happier talks about this in more detail. It’s about changing your relationship with your anxiety, seeing it instead as a guide to what you need to change. Your anxiety believes it’s trying to help you, so what is it telling you? Do you need to slow down? Change direction? Create boundaries?
2 – Tackle each fear one at a time – Small steps each day is how you manage anxiety, not tackling everything at once. It’s important to integrate yourself slowly; do one thing that pushes you each day and take it easy on yourself.
3 – Don’t run from your anxiety – It’s natural to want to avoid anxiety. It’s uncomfortable. This just exasperates the feeling though. Allow the anxious thoughts to arrive and leave, without overthinking. Know that they have no power and they are in fact just a thought.
4 – A worry isn’t a fact, check the evidence – This follows on from tip number three. Anxiety feels very real, so it’s important to fact check your worries. What evidence supports your worry? Is there any? Or is it a thought you can allow to leave without overthinking?
5 – Practice being still and slow your breathing – Slow regulated breathing signals our parasympathetic nervous system to calm the body. Start with stopping for 10 minutes to take slow and steady breaths. You can explore this further with my book Ten to Zen.
6 – Go at your own pace and whatever feels comfortable to you – Every journey is different and that’s okay. Managing your anxiety is a personal experience and one you should be gentle with yourself over.
7 – Acknowledge your safety behaviors – These are behaviors that short term will make you feel better but in the long term will maintain your anxiety. For example, if you’re constantly looking for reassurance over lockdown from the news or social media, start to slowly drop these reassurances. You could set boundaries to only check the news once a day, or have some time away from social media.
I hope these tips are helpful when it comes to managing your post lockdown anxiety. If you want further support around your happiness and well-being, you can find my book Ten Times Happier here.
If you want to explore slowing down and feeling grounded, you can find my book Ten to Zen here.
Take care, look after yourself and I’ll speak to you soon.