The last year has had its ups and downs for everyone. Even if you haven’t been at the frontline of the pandemic, the chances are you will still have missed opportunities, meals out, birthdays, friends, colleagues, and family. With the light just emerging at the end of the tunnel, and the UK on track with its current vaccination plans, normality might not seem too far away.
But what is normal going to be now? It might be easy to think that we’ll all spring back to where we were in January 2020 as soon as the pubs reopen, but life is rarely that simple. Here are a few ways that you can ease into the loosening of restrictions and give your mental health the best possible chance of recuperating after Covid-19.
The chances are you won’t have had much of a holiday over the past twelve to fourteen months or, even if you have, it will have been fraught with stress over whether or not the borders will suddenly close and you’ll end up stranded in Portugal. Now is the time you might want to start thinking about a mental health break. You don’t even need to go far, but a change of scenery will make you feel refreshed and ready to take on the world. In the UK there are plenty of car and van sales so you can motor away to an idyllic coastal location without the need for risky air travel.
Even if you don’t think you need therapy, counseling is an ideal way of combating any feelings of doubt or dejection you might be harboring after the lengthy months of stress and worry. Now, you can seek therapy online so you can see your chosen counselor at your convenience, without having to leave your house or take longer than a lunch break to alleviate some burdens.
It’s very normal to have levels of social anxiety after perhaps months of only seeing your partner, housemates, or immediate family for company. Let’s face it, as much as Zoom has helped us all through these trying times, it just isn’t the same as face-to-face communication. But the prospect of large groups of people all at once immediately might feel overwhelming, and that’s totally normal. If you are feeling worried about getting back to group get-togethers, then start by seeing friends on a one-to-one basis and then gradually increase the numbers.
Don’t lose this year
As much as 2020 might be the year we all want to forget, it isn’t healthy to just entirely eradicate a portion of our lives. Before you throw open the doors and take your first steps out into the world again, take some time to reflect on the last year. Although undoubtedly we would all have preferred to never learn what Covid-19 meant, it might be worth taking some time to list a few things that you might be able to take away from the year and habits that could come in useful for the future.