So, with the vaccination rollout going at such a great pace, the summer is looking brilliant for some. Most are looking forward to getting back to the pubs and festivals such as Reading sold out tickets in days! But for many, the thought of lockdown easing is bittersweet. Many people have lost loved ones to Covid-19, and the year has shaped us all differently. The prospects of a completely ‘normal’ summer could leave some feeling anxious, and that is completely ok. Here is a guide for those individuals, on managing their feelings in this confusing time.
Establish your boundaries
Establishing your boundaries is really important as lockdown eases, even if it doesn’t feel good at the time. For example, you may want people to stay out of your house despite being allowed to mix indoors, and that’s ok! Your home can remain your safe place, and something you can control when there is a lot in the world that we can’t control at the minute. Meeting up with friends with similar values to you will make the easing much more simple and also avoids any potentially awkward conversations!
Be open with your friends/ family/ work
Firstly, it is really important to talk to your loved ones or those you trust whenever you’re feeling uneasy, as they can often help with putting some worries aside. Discussing your feelings with friends will help with future plans, as they will recognise and remember your reasons for feeling nervous at this time. It is also really important to communicate with your work about the way you feel. Many find themselves shying away from talking to their employer/ boss about their feelings, as they worry about losing their job. However, with the current circumstances, your manager may be able to help you find ways to make things work without putting you through a situation where you may find yourself feeling uncomfortable.
Although it looks like beer gardens are all booked up for as soon as they can open, remember you can set your own pace with easing. You may feel pressured into socialising as you don’t want to be ‘the boring one’ but going from zero socialising to pub gardens and cheers-ing isn’t as straight forward as it sounds. Just take things at a pace that you feel comfortable with.
Recognise the changes
As touched on above, the changes we have experienced in the past year are huge. Going from a ‘normal world’ to complete lockdown and then the various changes in-between has left some feeling confused, and others angry. In times where you feel overwhelmed, focus on the things we know for fact, and recognise what a difficult and challenging year we have had. There is no need to rush into things. Stay informed on the changes, but don’t get bogged down too much with things, just remain aware of the rules.
Be kind to yourself
I think if this year has allowed us to do anything, it has allowed us to take more time for ourselves and this is something we should continue as lockdown eases and beyond. Continue to do things that make you feel happy, fulfilled and safe. Understand that you may need to take some time out sometimes, and that’s ok.