We are a small step closer! We are approaching the finish line after our completely worlds and lives have collectively been turned upside down.
For an entire year some of us have been working from home and many of us have been shielding.
We have become so accustomed to lockdown and not seeing anyone or doing anything - most of us haven't seen our families and/or friends for an extremely long time.
Have you had the opportunity to see your nearest and dearest already? Have you spent a whole day chatting, laughing, doing what you would have done in a “normal” situation?
I already did, and it was both enjoyable and exhausting! Now, socially interacting requires more energy and thought than before and I have to admit that I am completely out of the habit of socialising and navigating my usual social life!
But that is not all; while some people seem to be excited about this moment, for others the "return to normal" brings fear, social anxiety, uncertainty about it all and a feeling of nervousness at being pushed back into the social and working whirlwind of the pre-pandemic world.
However, please remember that it is OKAY to be a bit nervous. Things are changing, just take your time and be gentle with yourself.
Coming out of lockdown is going to be an adjustment for sure, but the following tips might help you navigate this situation successfully:
KEEP IT SLOW AND GENTLE
Imagine that this is like coming back to the gym. You will need to step it up slowly and let your muscles get used to weights. Plan your visits.
IT'S OKAY TO FEEL DIFFERENT EMOTIONS
Don't punish yourself, it not only won't help you, but it will make you feel guilty. Remember that it's OK not to be OK.
We shared with you a few tips to help stay grounded during the pandemic and the same tools will help you calm your anxiety.
A simple breathing exercise, talking a walk or the 5-4-3-2-1 method will help you to ease your nervous system. Read this simple Grounding techniques here.
Communicate with your friends, colleagues or family if you are feeling anxious. Talking to someone will help you to cope with this situation and you will almost certainly find that they feel the same too!
FEEL FREE TO SAY "NO"
If you don't feel mentally up to seeing, chatting, meeting with anyone, just don't over-explain. Instead say that you are trying not to pack in too much, but you will have a less busy week soon.
ACCEPT THAT RELATIONSHIPS MIGHT HAVE CHANGED
During this challenging times you friendships may have deepened, but you might embrace the possibility that some others may have drifted over the last year.
Surround yourself with those who you feel comfortable with, and you can be honest and talk to.
BE KIND WITH YOURSELF
The last tip, but not least, is to remember to treat yourself with compassion. Be aware of your mental, emotional, social and physical limits. Let this time of transition be enjoyable and smooth and it will help you cope with the next few months, and possibly be a blueprint for the rest of your life.