Health and Wellbeing
Worried about coming out of lockdown?
As we approach the third significant date on the roadmap to easing lockdown restrictions, you might be feeling a bit of pressure to make the most of a little bit of extra freedom.
On April 12th, pubs and restaurants will be able to serve food and drinks in outside spaces, meaning a lot of our friends will want to meet up, soak up the sun and have a few drinks.
However, if you're feeling a bit worried about the situation here are a few dos and don'ts to think about to help you feel at ease about these pressures...
Don't try to do everything at once
It's only natural to want to meet up with every friend or group of friends that you have as soon as we can after the year that we've had. If you're feeling pressured to see everyone, just remember it's okay to take your time and do it when you're ready. If you have a word with your friends about this, they should respect that. Besides, there will be plenty of time to make the most of time with friends when the whole situation has passed.
Do keep tabs on your money
It certainly feels like a celebration that more normality is coming back to our lives, but that's not an excuse to blow all your money on socialising. Stay sensible, even if you have saved up a bit of money over lockdown there's no need to spend it all at once.
Don't feel bad if you skip a catch-up
Ultimately, people will feel differently about coming out of lockdown. Some will be excited and some more cautious. At the end of the day though, you need to do what you feel comfortable with. If you'd rather go out for a walk on your own, or see family or even just watch tv then don't feel bad for choosing what you want to do even if it leaves your friends feeling a bit miffed. If there's one thing that lockdown has taught us it's that our own mental health should take priority.
Do ask your friends to help you feel more comfortable
If you are going to meet your friends and are still feeling a little bit nervous you could ask them to take precautions. As a lot of young people still are yet to be vaccinated, regularly sanitising their hands and keeping 2m distance away from you could be something that puts you more at ease. If you feel like this is something that would make you feel more comfortable when going out, take the plunge and drop your friends a line.
Don't feel as if you're on your own
The past year has been a very different and difficult situation for everyone, and for some more than others. There are plenty of people who feel a bit (or very) anxious about meeting up in crowds or groups and that's totally fine. You might question why you don't want to rush to the bar to order your favourite tipple but it's understandable, after the past year, why you find that a bit nerve-racking. Remember to talk to your loved ones and pace yourself at your own speed, doing only what you feel comfortable with.
Do enjoy yourself!
The least you owe to yourself is to have fun! Whether that be meeting up with a friend and going for a walk, taking part in outdoor sports or playing video games. Maybe in a month or so you'll go to a beer garden and wait off the tsunami of people that will be flooding to pubs as soon as the doors open - which is probably smart. The point is just do what makes you happy and as you feel more and more comfortable with gradual normality you can start to feel a bit calmer about activities you used to love!
Remember that the following rules still apply;
- The no guest policy still applies in halls
- You cannot meet indoor with anyone from outside your household/flat
- Outdoor meeting is limited to ‘rule of six’ or people from two different households
Here are a few more articles that you might find useful.
- Mind - Managing feelings about lockdown easing
- CALM - A little help if lockdown easing isn't making things easier
- Rethink - How to manage feelings of anxiety as lockdown eases
There are a variety of services available to you if you need to talk to somebody about how you feel.
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