As the lockdown restrictions in most parts of the country and globally eased and life slowly returns to ordinariness there is an emerging trend of a large population that is finding it difficult to adjust to the new normal.
While the lockdown did serve its purpose of delaying and possibly controlling the spread of Covid – 19 by limiting social gatherings and unnecessary movement outside our homes and simultaneously advocating social distancing, proper hygiene practices and taking precautionary methods, it also threw the onus on oneself to be aware and accountable towards our health and wellbeing and that of others by eliminating unnecessary risks and being vigilant towards ones exposure.
This extraordinary circumstance forced people to live with and follow stringent guidelines and this mode of living threw its own challenges.
As reported from many parts of the world and in the country too one witnessed an increase in the number of cases reported of domestic abuse, child abuse, domestic violence and such and this immediacy inside homes gave rise to frustration, anxiety and depression especially for those who now had to live with their abuser in close proximity and found themselves without an occasion that allowed distance and time and the opportunity to heal.
Post lockdown the situation seems to have reversed itself. Many people are now facing the challenge of adapting to the new normal and are now fearful about what will happen and how will they cope with life after lockdown!
An ease in stringent measures notwithstanding personal responsibility and responsibility towards others has catapulted many to a fear syndrome.
The worry now seems to be a nervousness post COVID – 19 lockdown and is manifesting itself in many people as post- lockdown anxiety.
Amid this personal worry people are also worried about life changes and the impact of Covid – 19 on employment, education, health and finances.
This has left many feeling unsettled, worried and stressed about the future leading to anxiety and panic attacks.
While it is normal and a natural response to feel anxious when faced with situations that we cannot control however, this feeling of being overwhelmed is manifesting itself as anxiety, panic attacks or even depression in many. If thoughts or behaviours have become excessive or one finds themselves continuously irritable, in a bad mood and showing signs of low patience and loosing temper then it is possible that you may be dealing with anxiety.
Recognising Anxiety signs
feeling worried or stressed about the future
feeling tired, irritable or having trouble concentrating
racing heart (palpitations)
shortness of breath or breathing quickly
How to cope with post – lockdown anxiety
- Talking & Sharing
First and foremost, understanding the fact that we are all dealing with uncertainty around us and that it is ‘normal’ to feel overwhelmed.
Remember talking to someone you trust can help. Even if they cannot change what you may be experiencing telling someone how you feel can make a difference. If you are struggling with your mental health, it is ok to ask for help.
- Obsessive Thinking
While thinking ahead and planning are helpful obsessive thoughts and efforts to problem solving may further induce worry.
Observe your thoughts. If you find yourself thinking the same thoughts through the day, grab a paper bag and breathe into it. This helps to calm down the nerves and will also be a go – to technique that you can employ every time you find yourself going in circles
- Positive coping mechanisms
Exercising, aerobics or even dancing to your favourite music or playing with your pet dog for a half hour release the good hormones in the body and mind thus making you feel happier and lighter.
- Set daily goals
By setting small achievable targets for yourself & breaking your day up can help make everything manageable and helps with concentration. Plan a movie session, a book reading session or simply play board games with your family or children this will give you something to do and promote a sense of satisfaction or enjoyment.
- Practice acceptance
Practicing acceptance of a situation and accepting that there is a lot going on around us and beyond our control can help to let go of the feelings that induce stress and apathy and can help in freeing up energy and mind from compulsive thinking.
- Self – Compassion and compassion for others around you
We all have different coping mechanisms and express and handle things differently. Do not be so tough on yourself have self-compassion and compassion towards your family, friends, colleagues and fellow humans.
While the Covid – 19 pandemics may take time to fully exit our world we can in the meantime equip ourselves with the right tools to withstand and motivate us to come out on top.