With lockdown restrictions being eased in England over the coming weeks, there may be many of you out there feeling anxious about what life will be like when you do finally venture out from the safe cocoon of your home and the immediate vicinity.
This has been dubbed post-lockdown anxiety and if you are worried about going outside and life going back to relative normal, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. There will be countless others out there feeling the same way you do.
According to ITV, charity Anxiety UK has seen a big rise in the number of people getting in touch for help and advice over the last couple of weeks regarding worries about the easing of lockdown. In fact, a 430 per cent rise in calls to the helpline has been registered compared to last year.
The organisation’s Dave Smithson spoke to the news source, saying that during lockdown we were able to stay at home and feel safe and protected, but now that we’re becoming more mobile we’re being taken out of our comfort zone and the benefits that we enjoyed while working from home are going to be missed. And then there’s the fear of catching the virus itself.
He went on to recount some of the most common symptoms of anxiety, including muscle tension, increased heart rate, tingling in the hands and feet, hot flushes, dry mouth, dizziness, over-breathing and feeling sick.
There are all sorts of different exercises you can try to help you tackle any feelings of anxiety, panic and fatigue that you may be experiencing at the moment.
You could try Box Breathing, for example, where you breathe out for four, hold your lungs empty for four, inhale for four and then hold the air in your lungs for four, before slowly exhaling and then repeating the pattern again.
Something else you could try is Notice Five Things every day. Notice five things you can see, five things you can hear and finally five things you can feel in contact with your body. This simple grounding exercise really helps you to feel more connected with your environment and is a good one for young children as well, who are also likely to be experiencing anxiety during this turbulent period of significant change.
You might also like to consider online mindfulness therapy as an option if you are growing increasingly concerned about your mental health at the moment. Mindfulness is the practice of bringing your attention to your thoughts, feelings and emotions in the present moment through the practice of meditation.
It can prove particularly effective in stress reduction, as well as treating anxiety, eating disturbances, grief, panic attacks, recurrent depression, substance misuse and more. Get in touch with us here at The Mindful Therapist to see how we can help.