Lockdown will be seen by many, if not most of us, as a negative experience. The past few months have been chaotic and consequently thrown our lifestyles out of sync. We’ve been in lockdown for months and our lives have drastically changed and we’ve now become accustomed to a certain way of living.
As we move along into June, the world is easing lockdown restrictions and there’s finally talk of what life will be like after lockdown, so, many of us are beginning to plan who we’ll see and what we’ll do. We’re planning to meet friends for drinks, travelling to cities in our countries, deciding what restaurants to eat at first, and gathering together in parks! This may all sound exciting, but for some people leaving lockdown can be quite daunting and scary.
We are going from isolation back to reality and we need to start preparing for this. You might not think that going back to normal would not have that much of an impact on your mental health, but it can and it will for many people. There are some things to bare in mind to help you manage your feelings about lifting lockdown…
Take small steps to begin with, you need time to prepare yourself to go out. Don’t rush into hitting the shops and pubs as soon as they open (as hard as it may be). There will be plenty of time to go to the pubs and meet up with your friends once lockdown is lifted and we return to ‘normal life’, so take your time.
Put Yourself First
This is your mental health, not someone else’s! You need to do what’s best for you and take each day as it comes. Don’t succumb to peer pressure from your friends to meet up if you’re not ready and take each day at a time. As lockdown is being lifted, make sure you're doing things that you enjoy and not just what you think everyone else likes doing.
Remember to continue giving yourself some time alone. Take a hot bath, put on a facemask, spend an evening playing on your xbox or ps4, anything that you enjoy! Giving yourself some time alone after being in lockdown for so long might seem crazy but it’s something we’ve become used too and to completely let go of that could further damage your mental health. It’s important in the meantime that you still make a little time for yourself each week or each day if you need it.
Friends & Family
Even if you’re not ready to go out and socialize, make sure you still keep in touch with friends and family members, whether its by phone call or text. It’s important to remember that you don’t completely isolate yourself from your friends and family – you might not be ready to get straight back into a normal routine, but keeping in touch with people you love will help you integrate back into a normality.
REMEMBER... just because we're not in the offices at the moment, doesn't mean we're not here for you. The Student Services team are always on hand to give you all the support and help you might need to help you manage your mental health. This year has been mentally and physically draining for everyone, so it's important that you continue to look after your mental wellbeing as the lockdown restrictions slowly loosen. If you don't feel comfortable talking to a member of the university or student union staff, you can always seek other psychological therapies services from the NHS that are within your local areas!
We're here for you!!