This last year has been undeniably tough for all of us. Coronavirus and lockdown have forced us into isolation, away from our friends and family – and even the hairdressers!

As lockdown restrictions ease we will get more and more freedoms. Soon we will be able to meet our friends more, go to pubs and attend live events. You will probably see your social media timelines fill up with posts from friends having fun and socialising. But behind these posts there is also a lot of anxiety and nervousness about what the next few months hold.

Don’t worry, it’s OK to not feel OK about lockdown easing. We’ve put together some ideas on how you can control your anxiety.

Pace yourself

Cast your mind back to 23rd March 2020 when the UK entered lockdown. The overnight change was immense – all of a sudden our lives changed completely and adjusting was incredibly hard.

Coming out of lockdown doesn’t have to be so stark. If you are feeling anxious about partying or meeting up with your friends then our advice would be to go at the pace you are comfortable with. Just as it took time for you to adapt to a new way of living back in March last year, it may take a while to adapt to life changing again.

Rather than completely filling your calendar with social activities, instead perhaps pencil in a few events and see how it goes. Maybe start with a picnic in a park or a walk and build up to bigger things?

Redirect your attention

For the past year we haven’t socialised with other people that much which means we’re not used to being around others. As we prepare to meet up with friends in the pub, it’s easy to worry about what others think of you – are you wearing the right clothes? Are you going to say the right thing?

These are all common thoughts. Changing your thought-process is easier said than done, but with a little bit of practice it is possible. The trick is to turn the spotlight in your mind off of yourself and onto others in social anxiety-provoking situations.

Next time you feel yourself worrying, focus your energy in being really interested in the other person, rather than being stuck inside your own anxious mind.

Talk to someone

It’s easy to start believing that you are alone and you are the only person feeling anxious about returning to ‘normal’. But if you are struggling to adapt then our advice would be to talk to someone. The chances are that they’re having the similar feelings. Even if they’re not, opening up to someone and articulating how you feel can make you feel understood and supported.

If you don’t know who to talk to, then our friendly accommodation team are always around for a cup of tea and a chat.

Whether you’re looking for support for your own mental health or want to support a friend then our charity partner, Student Minds can help. They have lots of resources on their website which can help.

And remember, it’s OK not to be OK.


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