As the Coronavirus restrictions begin to ease, many are looking forward to being able to mix and socialise again, not only with friends and families but also business colleagues or contacts. Some have already rushed back to the high street excited to start shopping for the summer perhaps, others have stormed the beer gardens or specifically constructed outdoor marquees.
Yet, this feeling of excitement is not shared by all as Post Lockdown Anxiety is becoming noticeable.
It will be easy to understand that those who suffer from social anxiety would not look forward to mixing with crowds again – after all they never were and the pandemic has in fact been a wonderful blessing for them.
Throughout the lockdown periods, many sufferers of social anxiety have not had to confront their anxiety in anyway, they’ve been able to stay at home and isolate, getting used to staying in their own comfort zone.
With the opening up of restrictions, these very real social anxieties are back in the forefront of people’s minds, and some will have found their symptoms have ramped up recently.
But they are far from alone and some people are perhaps experiencing similar symptoms for the first time.
Not Ready Yet
In fact, as I meet other business owners and solo entrepreneurs during online events, many, if giving a chance, will admit not being ready yet to return to crowds, public spaces or even face to face meetings.
So why is that?
Well, there will be a variety of reasons. Here are just a few:
“Working remotely saved me so much time!”
Many people discovered a new way of working during the pandemic which, despite the negative pitfalls of the lack of physical and social interactions, has transformed many people’s lives in a positive way.
No more long hours spent travelling on the road, on the train, often in crowded and uncomfortable conditions to get to work or business meetings.
The time saved has meant more time spent with family or on oneself, but also a reduction of the tiredness and stress involved with commuting or rushing from one place to the other get kids to or from school etc.
For some therefore the idea of going back to this “busyness” will feel probably quite overwhelming and will come with heightened anxiety.
What lies ahead?
After a year-long shut-down of our communities and amenities, and many sectors of activities having been hit hard, many people will be wondering what lies ahead.
If they have been furloughed, will they really still have a job after all this?
If they have already lost their job, how easy will it be to find a new one?
If they have managed to keep their business alive by a thread, how quickly will the economy pick up and allow them to become profitable again to keep the business afloat in the long run?
Is it safe yet?
Undoubtedly, fear of the virus is still here.
Some may worry because they have not been vaccinated yet. Others describe a negative reaction to the vaccine has some kind of “reality check”, a realisation of how bad it could be if they actually contracted the virus.
Or some may simply feel the weight of social responsibility. A worry of being an unknowing carrier, a feeling of not wanting to be responsible for spreading it out again after all the sacrifices made.
While it is natural to be concerned and important to act responsibly, worry and fear trap you into predicting the future and focusing only on what could go wrong.
Human beings are biologically wired to try and predict the future so if you are feeling uncertain about what lies ahead, that is perfectly okay, because the worries you have are not actually real.
Your anxiety makes them real and serves to trap you in a cycle.
How can we move away from the uncertainty and towards a life of calm with the world?
Awareness is key.
Awareness is your super power!
These five strategies will help you – practice them daily!
1 -Take note of your personal “worry story” – recognize how the narrative affects you – and try and distance yourself from it
2 – Acknowledge your thoughts and challenge them, rather than deny them. They may be negative but they are just what they are – just thoughts! The fact that you are thinking those thoughts does not make them true! Don’t let your thoughts rule or define you.
3 – Learn to control your breathing. When we are anxious, we tend to take shallower breaths which itself puts your body in a state of “alert” and causes us to feel even more anxious. Try some breathing and relaxation techniques.
4 – Bring your mind to the present, instead of living in the future or the past!
5 – Face the fear and be prepared to feel a little uncomfortable but know that you can overcome this.
The more you practice these five hints the better you will feel.
Hypnotherapy can provide help tailored specifically to you.
Sessions can be undertaken online and at your convenience and will address your own particular concerns.
Hypnotherapy will enable you to live the life YOU want to live, free from post-lockdown doubt and anxiety
Contact me now and get ready to take on the world again!