Anxious about re-entering society? You’re not alone
Posted by PR Neom
We’ve spent the last year-and-a-bit adjusting, re-adjusting, adapting then adapting again. And now we’re on the home stretch thanks to worldwide vaccine rollouts, we’re on track to get back some of our old life. And that’s a GOOD thing, but why doesn’t it always feel good? The reality is that even though transitioning out of lockdown is less worrying in some ways than transitioning in, with case numbers and doom and gloom news falling not rising, this is still another big old adjustment. Thankfully there are loads of great tips and resources out there, not least due to the fact that re-entry anxiety is a real thing, and we’re probably all feeling it on some level. Here are some of our top tips for tackling those anxious thoughts, because whether you’re feeling mostly positive or have real fears, we could all do with building up the stamina and checking in on ourselves a little more.
1. Take it slow
It takes just over two months on average for a new behaviour to become automatic, and even longer (best part of a year) to get fully used to a new habit. It’s REALLY important to remember that just as we all needed time to get used to lockdown, we’re going to need a whole lot of support, time and tools to adjust to coming out. So while it might be tempting to schedule in a morning workout the same week you start back at the office, or while you might want to say yes to absolutely every social plan because you’ve missed people, remember it’s healthy and OK to say no. As Suzy Reading says, when you do this you’re protecting yourself and therefore your loved ones too; saying yes to everyone benefits nobody if you’re burned out.
2. Build up your energy levels
Workout before work, commute, nipping to the shops at lunch, a drink with a friend and then cooking dinner. If that was your typical day before the pandemic, we bet you’re wondering just how you did that. HOW DID WE DO THAT? As well as taking it one step at a time, it’s well worth doing a few things that really help build your overall energy levels, so your baseline capacity is much much higher. For starters, try to get up and moving in the AM, swap lockdown snacks for proper slow-release carbs in the morning like overnight oats, and get some protein into your day through nuts or oily fish. And it you’ve been focusing hard on treating yourself and relaxing (hey, we hear you) try swapping out some of your de-stress products for ones that will give you a boost, like an energising candle while you’re getting ready, or a hand balm for out and about.
3. Get proper sleep
If lockdown played havoc with your sleep routine, you’re not alone. But given nothing affects how we look or feel more than proper sleep, it’s time to reassess that toolkit to make sure your sleep stays healthy, which in turn will have a massive effect on your energy and stamina as you do more and more. If busier days are having your mind whirring, try prioritising proper wind-down time even if you’ve been out somewhere, through a bath, half an hour with a journal or calming candle, some bedtime meditation or stretches for sleep. Every little helps when it comes to telling body and mind it’s time to switch OFF.
4. Don’t sit on your feelings
Waiting for your anxious thoughts to go away by themselves isn’t going to make them go away, as the more we think about things negatively, the more we build up fears in our heads. Staying connected with trusted friends and family and taking small (really small) steps to start opening up your life again is one way to tackle it, and more often than not you’ll know your boundaries and what you feel safe trying. To give you a boost as you head out the door, try a few drops of Orange Blossom & Neroli on your face mask or on your collar, it’s our most comforting, uplifting blend that will have you ready to nail that trip out.
5. Hold on to your ONE THING
Keeping the good stuff we learned in lockdown going forward is just part of how we’re sprinkling the feel good into this transitional period. It might be about protecting your energy and feelings by keeping time back for yourself. It might be a healthy habit like a morning smoothie that gets you supercharged and motivated, or it might be a hobby that you rediscovered, that gives you joy you don’t want to give up. Whatever it is for you, make it a priority as we start looking towards opening up, and feel the benefits in your confidence and energy levels as we work more into our days. Read more about team NEOM’s one things here.