Counsellor Sarah Barr shares ways to help manage anxiety about life when restrictions are lifted.

If you live with an anxiety disorder, or if you have experienced anxiety for the first time due to the pandemic, there are things you can do to help you cope with re-adjusting to life as we move through the phases and ‘normality’ resumes.

We can find change quite difficult. It took time and it was difficult to adjust to life during lockdown so it makes sense that some of us may find it difficult to re-adjust after lockdown.

Please be mindful not to put too much pressure or expectations on yourself to get back into your old routine straight away.

Post-lockdown anxiety is the fear and worry about what’s going to happen once these restrictions are lifted. Some people may worry about returning to their busy lives, as lockdown give them an opportunity to move at a slower pace. Other people may worry about the financial impact the pandemic has had on their business or employment.

Physical symptoms of anxiety:

• heart palpitations
• muscle tension
• tingling in the hands and feet
• dizziness
• feeling sick
• tension headaches.

Psychological symptoms of anxiety can be:

• thinking that you’re losing control
• worrying that you’re going to be sick
• worrying you are going to faint
• feeling detached from people and your environment.

How can you help manage your anxiety?

• Journaling:

Writing down daily your thoughts and feelings. Re-framing the worrying thought, by asking yourself what evidence or facts have you fo to say this thought is real.

• Practice gratitude:

Write down 3 things each day you are grateful for and give reasons why.

• Breathing technique:

Breathing in for four seconds, hold for two seconds and out for six seconds. Headspace and Calm apps and YouTube are brilliant sources for breathing exercises.

• Talk to someone:

We are resilient and some people who are feeling anxious now will recover in the weeks and months after lockdown restrictions have been lifted.

However, you do not have to go through this alone, if you are feeling anxious please call your doctor, a counsellor or reach out and talk to a trusted friend or family member.

Take care,