How to Ease Anxiety and Uncertainties about Going Back to ‘Normal.’
Uncertain times can bring on uncertain feelings
The past few months have been an emotional rollercoaster for many Australians. Whether it’s loneliness from social restrictions, nervousness about health or feelings of concern about family and loved ones.
But as restrictions start to ease, the idea of re-emerging back into society, being around people again, and reverting to what is ‘normal’ can be a source of anxiety for many people.
The University of Melbourne says that in the face of significant challenges, such as the worldwide Coronavirus, it is common to have feelings of stress, anxiety, worry and even fear. However, they also explain that instead of reacting from a place of panic, it is important to redirect your energy into looking after your wellbeing and seeking out the positives around you.
What anxiety looks like
According to BeyondBlue, anxiety is the most common mental illness amongst Australians. In fact, they say that on average one in four people will experience anxiety sometime throughout their lifetime.
Anxiety comes in different ways as feelings of uncertainty can be sparked by various things, whether that’s the nature of the virus, operating under social restrictions or interacting with others again.
For some, symptoms of anxiety include things like stress, worriedness, fear, racing thoughts, sadness or restlessness. While for others, they may experience more physical symptoms like increased heart rate, upset stomach, fatigue or general discomfort.
It is important to recognise these feelings and symptoms you have, acknowledge them and then find ways to combat them so that you come out feeling more positive about what’s going on around you. Remember, the current situation is only temporary, and you have the strength to get through it.
Ways to ease anxiety about the new ‘normal’
‘Normal’ isn’t going to come back simply by snapping your fingers. In fact, the new ‘normal’ may not look exactly like it did before, but that’s okay.
If you are feeling anxious about what’s to come after the pandemic, here are some simple ways to ease your feelings of uncertainty.
Acknowledge how you feel
The first step in combating feelings of anxiety is acknowledging they are there and that they are only temporary. By doing this, you give yourself the best opportunity to move past the uncertainty and transform it into comfort and positivity. It could be as simple as going for a walk, doing some meditation or just breathing deeply for a few minutes.
Keep up your general hygiene and maintain a routine
During this transition period it is just as important as before to maintain your hygiene, by washing your hands often and protecting yourself and others. Similarly, it is equally as important to keep up a routine, whether that’s through exercise, meal plans or even hobbies. If you’ve learnt a new skill during isolation, don’t ditch it. Keeping it up might help boost your mood and take your mind off any worries you have.
Take your time to re-enter society
After being through what we have been through, it’s important to remember that you can decide at what pace you want to enter society, because it’s crucial you feel comfortable in what you are doing. It’s okay if your feelings go up and down, back and forth – you have been through a lot and you can set the speed.
There are positives
Believe it or not, there are some positives that could come out of the global pandemic. For example, people are now more health conscious and focused on hygiene, they have a deeper appreciation for the smaller things, as well as have learnt to live a more relaxed and slowed down life than before. Remind yourself of these things often, it may be a key way to help you turn feelings of anxiety into positive ones.
Beyond Blue: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety