Life after Lockdown

…this short guide will give you tips to manage anxiety about the easing of lockdown…

As lockdown eases after so long, it can feel a bit scary and we may be faced with a sensory overload that could make us feel overwhelmed.

This guide can help you cope with the readjustment, using bitesize goals and techniques to help you manage your anxiety and wellbeing.

Pace Yourself

Getting back into old routines will take time, so it’s important not to put pressure on yourself to do it all at once.

Gradually exposing yourself to a situation that worries you can allow you to control your fear at each step. Here’s some examples that could increase your confidence outdoors, bit by bit. You may wish to repeat a step until you feel ready to move onto the next one.

Open the front door and stand on the doorstep for five minutes.
What do you notice? What can you see? What can you hear?

Go for a short walk and set yourself some challenges:

How many blue front doors are there? How many green cars?
Find a fallen leaf and pay attention to the small details on it.

Ask someone to take pictures of your local high street or supermarket to prepare yourself for what it’s like.
Next:

Try and walk though the street or
shop with a loved one. Then:

Try and walk through the town or
street on your own.

Keeping track of activities that you find difficult can help you review the progress you’ve made and recognise triggers. Copy the chart below into a notebook and fill it in with your own activities.

ActivityThoughts before activityAnxiety before activityWhat did I notice?Thoughts after the activityAnxiety after activity
Picking up my
prescription
Worried that people
will not social
distance or will stare
at my mask
6/10The markers on
the floor of the
pharmacy helped
me feel calmer
Walking past strangers
on the pavement was
hard
4/10

One Day at a Time

The uncertainty around the pandemic and regulation changes can feel a bit overwhelming.

Try not to think too far ahead and focus on what you can do today.
What makes you happy at the moment?
What thing can you do today that you have been missing?

Mindfulness exercises are good for keeping you in the moment. When you feel overwhelmed or uncertain, try this simple technique.

Find five things you can see

Find four things you can hear.

Find three things you can feel or touch.

Find two things you can smell

Find one thing you can taste

Talk to People you Trust

Be honest with family and friends about how you are feeling, and reach out to them for support if you need it. Remember, lots of people are feeling a bit anxious about coming out of lockdown, you are not alone.

If you’re invited to something you don’t feel
comfortable with yet, don’t feel you have to force yourself to go.

Take things at your own speed.

Talk to Your Workplace

If you are not comfortable about going straight back
into your workplace, speak to your manager or HR team.

They should be able to help you create a plan to
slowly ease back into your workplace.

Coping with Anxiety

Traffic, busy places and being around strangers again may feel overwhelming.

Learning a few of these quick exercises can give you the confidence to cope with feelings of anxiety.

Take a breath in for four seconds.

Hold a breath
for a count of
four seconds

Slowly breathe out of your mouth, with
pursed lips, for
eight seconds

Repeat
four times.

Sit in a chair. Scrunch your face up, then relax it.

Tense up your arms in front of you, then relax them.

Tense up your shoulders and chest, then relax them.

Tense your legs
out in front of
you, then relax. Take one deep
breath

Focus on your breathing and take long, deep breaths from your belly button.

Stamp your feet to bring your attention from your mind into your body.

Use your senses: stroke something soft or smell perfume or minty gum

Find somewhere quiet and safe to recover and have something to eat and drink.

This toolkit is produced by our partners at Mind Solent. They offer some fantastic training courses to help manage your teams mental health and wellbeing.