Tips for Managing Anxiety about the Post-COVID Return to Normal | Guest Post by Ben Lynch
As COVID restrictions start to ease and things start to get back to how they were pre-pandemic, you might not be feeling as excited and positive as you would have expected. In this article, we take a look at how to manage anxiety about the post-COVID return to normal.
It’s normal to feel anxious
The last year has been difficult for most people with concerns about your health, restrictions on day-to-day activities, and financial worries all taking their toll. However, many of us have adapted to this new way of living — and even though it’s a good thing that things are starting to open up again, it’s completely normal to feel anxious about it.
Tips for managing post-COVID anxiety
Getting back to normal is going to take some time and adjustment, but there are a few ways to prepare yourself and help manage your anxiety.
Returning to work
If you’ve been working from home but you’re going to be back in an office over the next few months, it’s normal to be nervous. However, your employer should have measures in place to keep you safe.
If you’re worried, get in touch with them to find out what precautions they’re taking and how things might be different from before. This will give you some time to prepare and understand what it’s going to be like.
If you’re still worried about things such as the amount of time you’ll be in the office or you have to catch public transport to get to work, look into what adjustments you can make. You might be able to go part-time or continue to work from home a little longer. Or you could change your hours slightly so you’re not commuting at peak times.
Take things at your own pace
While you might be looking forward to catching up with friends and family in person again, picking up your usual hobbies and activities, or even returning to the office, it’s important to take things at your own pace.
If you find the idea of a full day a bit overwhelming, or you’re nervous about meeting up with people, take things slow. Don’t jump back into everything straight away and give yourself plenty of time to relax and stay home when you need to.
So if you are going back into the office full time, don’t schedule anything in the evenings for the first week or two, and try to keep your weekends available as well. Even if other people are expecting you to meet up or do things, talk to them and explain that you’re trying to take things slow. You need to prioritize your own well-being, and it’ll help you to be less anxious and more present when you do catch up with people or do things.
Take precautions that make you feel comfortable
While infection rates are decreasing and many people are now vaccinated, it’s completely normal to still feel worried about the risks of catching COVID. If it makes you feel more comfortable, make sure you’re taking the necessary precautions to protect yourself when you’re out and about, and don’t be worried about setting some boundaries with others.
These are a few things you can do:
- Suggest meeting up with friends and family outdoors away from crowded areas
- Limit the number of people you are meeting up with
- Go out to restaurants and bars at quieter times during the week or daytime instead of evenings and weekends.
Make sure you’re looking after yourself
As things start to pick up again it can be easy to fall into some bad habits or let your usual routines slip. But sticking with a healthy balanced diet, regular exercise, and a good sleeping pattern is going to help you feel more in control and boost your mood.
Try to do a workout or some sort of exercise at least two or three times a week. Not only is it good for your physical health, but exercising will also release endorphins, which can trigger a positive feeling in your body. This is a good way to de-stress and feel more in control when dealing with post-COVID anxiety.
Ensure you’re eating the right food as well to support your body. You need a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables as well as protein, fiber, and carbohydrates to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients and vitamins you need.
One of the key vitamins you need is vitamin C, and if you feel like you’re not getting enough through your diet, you might want to take something like liposomal vitamin C. If you feel like you’re not getting enough of some vitamins, taking such a supplement may help support a healthy immune system. Making changes to your diet can boost your energy levels and help you to feel more focused and positive.
Getting enough sleep is also going to help you feel better — you need between 7 to 8 hours each night. When you don’t get the right amount of rest you can feel irritable, distracted, and anxious.
Try to stick to going to bed at the same time every day, and waking up at the same time each morning to help you get into a good pattern.
If you struggle to drift off because you’re worrying or you don’t feel well-rested in the mornings, changing your pre-bedtime routine might help. Get ready for bed about an hour or so before you need to sleep, and avoid watching TV or looking at your phone so that your mind can start to switch off. Try reading a book, listening to music, or meditating instead.
You should also make sure your bedroom is at the right temperature and block out any light from the windows. Sleep sprays with calming scents like lavender that you can use around your room or on your pillow can help you feel more relaxed. Getting a good night’s sleep is going to help you manage your anxiety and feel more in control.
As things start getting back to normal, it’s important to take it at your own pace. It’s okay to be worried or anxious, so focus on prioritizing your health and not pushing yourself too much.