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Post-Lockdown Anxiety? Here’s How to Manage

As we are stuck in our homes, getting used to the lockdown was pretty hard for some individuals — however, coming out might be even harder. Those of us who deal with anxiety daily have found comfort in our homes as we are able to cancel out the world and find peace for ourselves, however, those of us who have more of an outgoing personality found it hard to maintain their cool in the lockdown, yet have managed to adjust to the completely opposite lifestyle.

We have found ways to cope with the alternative lifestyle that we are living in, getting adjusted to home –whether school or work –we were even able to normalize seeing the same faces of our family members, each day. Just like we took a while to get used to it — our new normal, so to say, but believe it or not, we are going to face the same situation stepping back into our original normal. Just a heads up! Fear and anxiety will be kicking in.

What will our life after lockdown look like? Will we be able to adjust to it? Can we make sure we will be safe? These uncertainties are completely normal, but these are what cause anxiety. When these anxieties might start interfering with our daily life, it may cause us to worry.

One of the obvious main reasons is that people might be concerned about catching  Coronavirus and or falling sick, which might make them more prone to the virus.

The skepticism of catching the virus will always be on our heads, no matter how far we have gotten into the future of this new normal. While these anxieties kick in we have to trick our brain into thinking that we have chosen this lockdown method to keep ourselves, our families, and our community safe. Although there are ways that we could use to prevent these anxieties.

One way to prevent being anxious for this particular reason is to make sure we are safe ourselves before we go back out into the world. We could do this by always having a mask on no matter what, this way we have a sense of security, if we know we are going to be touching something, having gloves on are completely necessary, and making sure we sanitize everything we touch.

These may be tedious routines that we are almost forced to do, but, we need to realize that they are completely necessary for keeping us safe. Not only physically but also mentally we get the sense of security, when you have a mask and gloves on and you go out to the grocery store, you are all geared up to kick corona in the butt!

Of course, at some point, we might realize that whatever we do, the risk is still present and that we want to get back to our old lives at some point– for our safety or for our family, or even economic reasons. We will need to get used to these new routines so that we are able to reduce our fears and anxiousness.

How do we know if we are feeling post – lockdown anxiety?

Understanding our feelings may be hard, but the side effects give us the answer

The biggest indications are agonizing about the future, feeling uncertain about what is to come, how to carry out daily actions, sleep deprivation, the urge to check the news or social media relating to the lockdown rules or COVID, and in some cases there also may be a possibility of panic attacks.

What is the difference between good anxiety and bad anxiety? Where to draw the line?

Who knew that there could be good anxiety as well? The difference is broad.

Good anxiety is something that can be useful as it may prevent us from taking thoughtless and misguided decisions, so it will work out in our benefit when we leave lockdown. Good anxiety could also encourage all of us to maintain social distancing and be conscious of our surroundings more than we would before lockdown. Bad anxiety is something that may cause mental health problems like depression which often occurs with an anxiety disorder, substance misuse trouble sleeping (insomnia), digestive or bowel problems, headaches, and chronic pain.

Good anxiety is akin to when you are scared but you are also prepared. You are educated on the prevention measures you need to take which gives you a sense of security when stepping out in the world.

Bad anxiety can also lead us to take upon unhealthy and entirely unhelpful coping techniques such as avoidance, drugs, over-eating, and self-harming medication. Because anxiety is a detestable feeling, a lot of us might choose the wrong path instead since it might be the easier path during our anxiety-prone emotional state. In some harsh cases, you might go through Agoraphobia which is a type of anxiety disorder in which people fear and avoid places or situations that might cause them to panic and make them feel trapped, helpless, or embarrassed. You might fear an actual or anticipated situation, such as using public transportation, being in open or enclosed spaces, standing in line, or being in a crowd.

The line to draw between bad anxiety and good anxiety is pretty straight forward, by using critical thinking you are able to make the right choice. Once you realize that your anxiety might be harming you in an extreme way and leading you to make self-harming decisions you know that isn’t for you. But if your anxiety guides you in a way to keep you safe, that is completely alright and easy to live with.

a man holds his head while sitting on a sofa photo – Free People ...
When you understand and accept the feelings of grief, you will have less days like this, and more days filled with positivity and hope.  Image courtesy of Unsplash

Grief during COVID-19

During lockdown there are many things we are losing, all of which can make us grieve

“We are all dealing with the collective loss of the world we knew,” explained grief expert David Kessler in an interview with Brené Brown for her “Unlocking Us” podcast.

With the extreme 360 degrees change of our normal life, we are facing uneasiness and sadness, not only because we are mourning the loss of thousands of lives but we are also mourning the deprivation of normalcy. We miss seeing our acquaintances from school/work or even in the streets when they were filled with people, which we previously thought were extremely crowded and not fun to walk through.

According to many people, grief might only be situated with death, but that isn’t the case, any type of loss can trigger grief. Some people could experience the grief of losing a job or losing time due to staying at home, feeling like they are wasting their time. Other people might have also gone through the grief of losing a sense of security or not feeling safe anymore, losing their routines, losing the plans they had made a year in advance or even next week, all of these trigger our grief.

How to deal with grief?

Dealing and coping with any sort of emotion can be challenging but through understanding the perceptions it will become a tad bit easier

Understand that these feelings are normal and they are valid and that you are not alone. The best way to cope through any type of grief is to practice self-care, give yourself some time to take in these feelings, you could also reach out to family and friends.

Understand that grief may be the most substantial feeling that may be causing anxiety, coping with grief is coping with anxiety. Understanding and reflecting upon these feelings will help you get over them quickly and efficiently.