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How to overcome your fears of returning to life after lockdown

How to overcome your fears of returning to life after lockdown

7 June 2021|Crisis Management, Latest Posts, Psychology

How to overcome your fears of returning to life after lockdown
How to overcome your fears of returning to life after lockdown

Do you have post-lockdown nerves? It’s totally normal to feel a certain amount of nerves or anxiety when faced with the return to ‘normality’. Just as it took us some time to find ways of coping during lockdown, we should also expect that it may take a while to find our way back and to reconnect with life – especially when being an entrepreneur. Our situations are unique to us, so it’s really important to try not to judge ourselves harshly based on what other people are doing.

H – Hooked
Feelings of anxiety can be overwhelming and you can find yourself hooked into the thoughts of your fears. So, it’s a good idea to evaluate the reasons behind this hook. What are the reasons why you can’t or shouldn’t take action to return to ‘normal’?

A – Avoiding Discomfort
Our feelings play out in our actions. Anxiety and fear are uncomfortable feelings. When you feel this way, the easiest way to avoid these feelings is to avoid actions that trigger them. Ask yourself, what am I doing or avoiding doing to stop these feelings of discomfort? 

R – Realistic Goals
When shifting into a different pattern of action, whether you’ve done it before or not, ask yourself: “Am I trying to do too much, too quickly?”. For example, you might be anxious about returning to work and the commute that comes with it.  In order to avoid fear and anxiety becoming overwhelming, think – what is the smallest step you can take that feels manageable? If you are worried about travelling on the bus, start just by standing at the bus stop for a few days and get used to the feeling. When it feels comfortable, get on just for one stop to practice until you can do more. You can then continue to layer these actions. Whilst the fear of a long journey to work can result in avoidance, breaking this down into micro-changes can help to keep you moving forward. 

D – Distanced from Values
Change is hard when what you’re doing is not lined up with what is important to you. Fear can be a threatening emotion which means we hide, but fear can also remind you of what to do in terms of caring for yourself or others. Focus on who and what matters to you. If returning to normal feels hard, think about why you need to do what you’re afraid of doing. Focusing on your values will give your actions a sense of purpose and will provide the ignition you need to overcome your anxiety.

By Dr. Alka Patel – GP, Lifestyle Medicine Physician, Coach, and Founder of the Lifestyle First Method.