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Reopening Anxiety

So right now, the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic are starting to ease, people can start seeing friends and family again, restaurants, shops and bars are starting to open again, and it seems that slowly but surely the world is trying to get back to some new ‘normality’. This for some people is a huge celebration with a sense of freedom coming their way, but for others this is quite a scary concept. We, as a nation, have spent the last 18 months in a national lockdown with most, if not all our ‘normality’ taken away from us, leaving us in a very uncertain time.

Not to mention a very confusing time with things changing constantly, rules and guidelines being put in place but then being altered as no one could have predicted the catastrophic effects of the virus would have on our everyday lives.

As it stands right now the lockdown restrictions are starting to ease for the UK, with the prospect of officially coming out of any type of lockdown later this year. Yes, for some this is an exciting time but what I wanted this blog to be about is the flipside of this, to bring to light that not everyone will be excited and ‘ready’ to step back into the world just yet. THIS IS FINE. For the last almost 2 years our lives have been turned upside down, inside out and back to front and now we are expecting people just to walk straight back out into the world as if none of that happened as if everything is ‘normal’?

Being anxious is to be expected, everyone is different, and people will have dealt with the pandemic in different ways, there was no right or wrong way for dealing with the pandemic so there is no right or wrong way to deal with coming out of it. We must do what feels best and safest for us as individuals, take things at our own pace. If you feel comfortable to go for a drink with friends in a bar, go do it. If you feel comfortable going into a coffee shop but would rather sit in your car and drink it, do it. If would rather wait a little longer to see ‘what happens next’, do it. We must put ourselves first in this situation and do what is best for us.

I personally do not think that things will go back to how they were pre pandemic. I think we are going to have a brand new ‘normal’ post pandemic that we will have to adjust to. This is what this whole situation has been about, adjusting to our new way of living. We had to adjust to the very strict lockdown at the beginning, then we had to adjust to restrictions being lifted a little bit but with different measures in place, then we had to adjust to a strict lockdown again, now we have to adjust to things starting to open back up and this new way of doing things, then we will have to adjust to a new way of living post pandemic. We as human do struggle with change, especially ones we are not in control of. This whole experience has been an uncontrollable, unpredictable change that we have been forced into. When I say forced, I realise that the government have put things in place to help protect the safety of our country, but even they were not in control of the situation simply because we haven’t experienced this before so how they could plan for this?

But going back to my original point, if you are not feeling ready to go back into this new world right now, this is fine. Please do not be too hard on yourself. Take things at your own pace and do things that feel right for you, once you take that first step, you may gain the confidence to take the second one, the third one and so on. Be kind to yourself, you have been through a lot these past 18 months.

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