There appear to be a lot of different reactions and confusing feelings associated with the coronavirus lockdown easing. We are being told that things are getting back to normal and yet nothing quite feels normal, does it? Lockdown has been difficult for lots of different reasons but in many ways the full lockdown will have felt more predictable and possibly easier to understand our feelings associated with our situation, the rules were clear and there was a clarity and an acceptance for the situation we found ourselves in.
As the easing of lockdown continues there are new challenges to face for all of us. There will be no normal response to how we cope with these changes to lockdown, and we are likely to be affected by lots of things that are beyond our control. Our feelings might change as regularly as the weather with no logic from one day to the next as to why we feel the way we do. .
It is important to ask yourself how you are feeling and try to understand what may be causing you to feel the way you do..
Are you feeling:
• Conflicted or confused.
Perhaps you are desperate to socialise more but feel like you would rather stay at home. Maybe the people around you feel differently to the rule changes from you. With so much change happening it is only natural to become conflicted or confused as to the best way forward..
• Stressed or unprepared.
If you have enjoyed the slower pace of life through lockdown and are protective of your lockdown routine because of the positive affects on your wellbeing, then you may not want to go back to how things were before the pandemic. It can be stressful thinking and planning the schedule for the children and all their after-school clubs and activities when you have had them at home for so long..
• Worried, anxious or nervous.
Does the world now feel like an unsafe place? Are you worried that there will be an increase in Covid infections or nervous about getting your vaccine?.
• Tired, hopeless or low.
Uncertainty is tiring. The stress of managing all the uncertainty can be mentally draining and exhausting and you may struggle to see how things will improve or return to how they used to be..
If you have had coronavirus symptoms, you may still be experiencing their effects. If the symptoms have lasted for a long period of time – I may be “long covid”.
• Annoyed or frustrated.
It can be annoying to see people not following social distancing rules or to think that other people have more freedom than you. It might be that you feel that the changes will put you at higher risk at work.
• A sense of loss or grief.
You may have lost loved ones over the last 18months and will still be experiencing grief and feeling as though life will never be normal again..
A lesser sense of loss can be felt for other reasons, a missed prom, a cancelled wedding, a lost job, a lost opportunity to go travelling, missed experiences. .
It may feel like everyone else is ready to get their social life back on track, but you may be struggling to feel motivated. If you have missed out on a major life event celebration and had to cancel plans it can be difficult to feel motivated in going through the process of reorganising it again when you have lived through the disappointment of the cancellation the first time around.
• Lonely or disconnected.
Everyone was pretty much forced into isolation and retreated into their respective bubbles. Yes there may have been the odd zoom call in the beginning with friends but lets face it even those dried up when no-one had anything different or interesting to talk about. Now that we can re-connect it is normal to be questioning friendships and relationships. It might require a huge effort to re-build connections, and this can in itself lead you to feel lonely and disconnected..
• Distrustful and powerless.
Depending on your politics, you may be feeling distrustful of the media, of the government’s reasons or of the coronavirus vaccines and feel like you don’t have any control, or any say in what is happening.
Speak to your GP
All these feelings are normal and it is perfectly understandable that you may be feeling overwhelmed with your emotions and feelings. If you are struggling with your mental health, it is ok to ask for help. A good place to start is by speaking to your GP, or your mental health team if you have one.
Relate – for relationship advice and counselling
Samaritans – for people to talk about whatever’s troubling them at any time
Have you considered counselling?
Counselling is a talking therapy that involves a trained therapist listening to you and helping you find ways to deal with emotional issues. Sometimes the term “counselling” is used to refer to talking therapies in general, but counselling is also a type of therapy in its own right.
What can counselling help with?
Counselling can help you cope with:
• a mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety or an eating disorder
• an upsetting physical health condition, such as infertility
• a difficult life event, such as a bereavement, a relationship breakdown or work-related stress
• difficult emotions – for example, low self-esteem or anger
• other issues, such as sexual identity