With daily coronavirus figures reducing and more people being vaccinated, this month we could see the restrictions begin to ease and life slowly edging towards normality.
Despite everything we’ve been through over these past twelve months, this might leave us feeling especially anxious, fearful, worried or even depressed about what the future may hold.
Here are some tips on how we can deal with change more easily and adjust to the new normal.
When life starts getting back to normal, you might feel tempted to jump headfirst back into your regular life. After all, you’ve put everything on hold for so long and there’s no time to lose, right? Wrong. If you throw yourself back in immediately, you could end up feeling overwhelmed or even burnt out.
Instead, give yourself time to adjust to the change slowly and don’t expect it to be easy or feel ‘normal’ for a while. Be kind to yourself and know that everything will be OK in time.
Acknowledge how you feel
During periods of change like this, it’s perfectly normal to experience thoughts and emotions that might surprise you. Don’t try and hide them away, even if you feel ashamed or even worried about how you feel. Simply accept that there will be periods of time when you feel low, and others where you feel better. Or periods when you feel angry, excited, happy, nostalgic, grief-stricken or anywhere in between. This is OK- it’s all part of the process.
Even when the situation appears to have been resolved, it’s important to remember things may change rapidly again. You need to be able to stay flexible so you can protect your mental health, regardless of what happens. Whenever possible, live each day as it comes and see how things turn out.
Make sure you stay in touch with friends, family and other people you care about, even when life starts to return to normal. By doing this, you’ll be able to offer support to each other, ensure that you keep your mental health in check and make the transition more easily.
Through discussing your mood, your thoughts and your feelings, you might be surprised to discover how others are feeling as well. If you can’t or don’t want to talk to friends and family, consider keeping a journal or speaking to a professional.
Find time for yourself
It’s far too easy to rush around looking after everyone else yet forget to look after yourself. However, if you want to keep your mental health in check and adjust smoothly, it’s important to claim ‘me’ time, even if you can only manage ten minutes per day when the kids are in bed. This will allow you to unwind, de-stress and give your brain time to process the changes that you are experiencing. Why not enjoy a relaxing bath, curl up with your favourite book or do some journaling?
Getting back to normal after a period of upheaval may feel harder than you’d think. However, by taking it slowly, acknowledging how you feel, leaning on your friends and family, staying adaptable and ensuring you have time to yourself, you will be able to look after your mental health and feel much better. If you need extra support, please reach out to a professional.