In the past month, the rules of lockdown have been eased a little more allowing a return to a more or ‘new normal’ lifestyle. How does this make you feel? You may find the relaxations create uncertainty and anxiousness in your life. Your day is not the same as before, there are more things to remember to do or not do and consider before leaving the house. A mask is now a fashion accessory! The pandemic is still out there.
How do you manage your fear and anxiety to help you venture back into the new normal society?
My top five tips to help you re-explore your community in the new normal:
- Take little steps to begin with and build up gradually.
Start with what you are comfortable with. If you haven’t been into a shop since the lockdown began, heading to a shopping centre or restaurant is probably daunting. Try building yourself up, even from just popping into the corner shop for one or two things to grabbing a takeaway drink or meal, to then going to a shopping centre and having a sit-down meal. Only do things you are ready for and be confident to say to people you are not ready to do something yet!
- Go out with a friend.
Is there someone you can go with that will make you feel more at ease? You also may feel more comfortable heading out with someone else from your bubble and exploring the new normal together! This tip has helped me greatly as it helps me challenge those anxious thoughts.
- Make a “grab bag”.
A grab bag or ready-to-go bag is made of things to take shopping with you. This could be including a mask (and maybe a spare), hand sanitizer, bottled water, umbrella (in case you have to queue in the rain), and anything else you may feel that you may need/want. This way you know you have what you need and feel more prepared.
- Your own personal COVID-19 TripAdvisor!
You will likely know someone who has been to some places you would like to go, so ask them questions to find out about the things that are concerning you the most. For example, any changes to shop layouts or how busy it gets. Knowing what to expect with this insight will help tackle your feelings around the unknown.
- Remind yourself it is okay to feel this way.
Your feelings are valid, things are different and it can feel scary and it can take some time to get used to the new normal. Having patience with yourself and not rushing things will help you feel more at ease.
We are all different but I hope that these tips that worked for me will also work for you in getting back out there and enjoying the new normal as much as you can! Remember these are stepping stones so see what will work for you! If you have any tips of your own that have helped you in this new normal please add them as a comment below.
Thanks for reading. I’m off to get my grab bag!
No5 Lead Young Ambassador