As lockdown restrictions start to ease for what seems like the first time in forever, there is a lot of excitement about seeing friends, going out and having a holiday period that resembles celebrations pre COVID-19.
We’ve all had to alter our lives in some way to protect ourselves and our communities through the pandemic, so while it’s exciting to finally have more freedom, it’s very normal that this excitement is tinged with nerves. The protection systems we’ve created and held onto so tightly are now no longer needed, but they can be very hard to let go of.
Socialising can be tiring at the best of times, but when you’ve only had you and/or your family, partner, or housemates for company for the past few months, it’s downright exhausting. Change requires adaptation, so we’ve compiled some reminders for you while you’re navigating life out of lockdown.
- Acknowledge your fear. We’ve been dealing with a pandemic for the best part of two years now, so it’s totally normal to feel anxious or afraid of what may happen once our states open up. Understanding that everyone has different tolerance levels to risk and its okay to be cautious about restrictions changing is key.
- It’s okay to say no. You don’t need to accept every invitation to every picnic, beer garden hangout or volleyball match on the beach, especially if constant socialisation will wear you down. As vaccination rates continue to climb, it’s unlikely we’ll see prolonged lockdowns again, so there will be plenty of time to catch up with everyone – you don’t need to fit months of catch-ups into the first few weeks.
- Ease into it. Be patient with yourself and take this adjustment period at your own pace. Unlike when we’re thrown into a snap lockdown and your life is turned upside down all at once, as we come out of lockdown you have the time to turn your life right side up piece by piece. There is no rush.
- Focus on what’s important to you. Have your priorities shifted during lockdown? You can bet that most peoples’ have. If the things that were important to you before lockdown hold less weight now, that’s okay! Focus on what you’ve learnt about yourself and your priorities as we emerge from lockdown.
- Keep routines. You know the things that got you through lockdown? Daily walks, cooking a meal, creating time for quality rest – don’t abandon them as soon as restrictions lift. You’ll probably find that keeping these healthy habits will go a long way in dealing with any uncertainty that arises over the next few months.
Even though the lockdowns are easing, we’re still experiencing a global pandemic. Remember to let others know how you feel. We’re always here to listen.
Soon enough, things will feel normal again.
Until then, stay safe.