It is little wonder that the pandemic has had such a negative effect on people’s mental health. The idea of being stuck indoors all the time, being stuck without a normal routine and doing the things we find second nature, can be a tough one to get your head around. Mental health services have seen an increase in people asking for help and you only need to take a brief look at social media to see just how many people out there are suffering.
The fact that an end date can’t be completely nailed down is another thing that can impact people’s mental health. They can get used to the uncertainty – as long as they know it is going to be ending. However without a set date, it can be tough to stay positive right now.
The end does finally seem to be in sight, however, with the arrival of the vaccines and a program rolling out to get all those who need it vaccinated. Whilst normality may still be some way off, this is a step in the right direction and hopefully restrictions will be easing off soon with life slowly returning back to normal.
It is important to remember not to rush back into normal life however. Post lockdown life will almost certainly be a little different to life before the pandemic – after all, we have all been through something massive – but it will become a new normal and we will learn to adjust. But how can we adjust once this time comes around and embrace it for what it is?
There are a few ways life will be returning back to normal and here are some things that need to be considered as we move back into a sense of normality.
Meeting & Doing Things With Family
By far the thing that most people can’t wait for the most. Being away from family for an extended period of time can really impact someone’s mental health, not least because the time kept getting longer. There are people that haven’t seen family in almost a year due to their locations or working on the front line. Once life is post lockdown, we will finally be able to interact with our family and do things with them again.
It is important to remember we will still probably have to take some precautions for a while once this is allowed again. However when the day comes to finally see family who we haven’t seen for months, there will be plenty of smiles, perhaps some tears (of happiness!) and hugs all round.
There is also another thing to look forward to when it comes to spending time with family. Those who have been lucky enough to see their family during this time due to living arrangements have found their lives impacted by not being able to do anything with them. The chance to finally go out and do things as a family such as a simple trip to the zoo or the beach will do wonders for people’s mental health as getting out and about doing stuff you enjoy is key to boosting your mental wellbeing.
Getting Back To Work
Whilst plenty of people have remained in work as key workers or have been working from home, the fact remains that plenty of people were either furloughed or lost their job during this past year. This has meant a lot of anxiety and depression for many people as that was the one constant which kept them going.
There will also be a lot of anxiety from those returning to the office who have been working at home for almost a year. But there needn’t be any worries.
Everyone will be in the same boat – the offices will be a little different now as they have had to be adapted to make it safe and secure for you all to return. But it will be so nice to see colleague’s faces again, having a chat over a cup of tea on your break or helping each other out with a project. Be sure to prioritise your mental wellbeing though and ask for help or support if you feel you need it.
Getting Back Outside
One of the big things that affected people and their mental health over the past year has been the restrictions on being outside. Although people were always allowed to go outside to some extent, many found this super restrictive, especially when it meant they had to stay locally.
Getting back outside with less or even no restrictions is certainly something to look forward to and will have a great positive effect on people’s mental health. Some people just like to be outside rather than inside, some enjoy a detailed fitness routine which restrictions had affected and some people just like being outside as it is something different from being inside- how many of us choose to go for a walk or bike ride when we are bored indoors and have nothing to do?
There is so much to look forward to and so much to consider. Whilst it will be lovely to get back to some sense of normality, it is important that we prioritise our mental health at all times and recognise when it is getting too much.
We have all been through many changes over the past years and people will have their own ways of dealing with these changes. As we move towards a post lockdown life, there will be many more changes, mostly positive ones, that we will have to adjust to – it is important that we do not overdo it and look after ourselves. After all, we want to enjoy getting back to normal.