How to conquer post-lockdown anxiety

woman holding her head in her hands lying on bed, workplace performance anxietyIt may SEEM like the rest of the country is rushing to book a table in a beer garden, or can’t wait to have dinner in their favourite restaurant… but that’s not what I’m hearing from a lot of my patients.

For many, the final lifting of restrictions, while welcome, also arrives with a sense of anxiety and trepidation. What if numbers rise again? How do you keep track of the rules? Can you hug your best mate? It all feels very complicated and many people are unsure.

One patient even said that she found seeing people more draining than usual and that she was under a lot of pressure to see people but she was really resisting filling up her calendar and definitely didn’t want to return to the busy social life she had before.

And that’s ok. In fact, it’s a very normal reaction to a very abnormal situation.

Never have we been asked to adapt so often as in the last year. We’ve gone from the trauma (I don’t use that word lightly) of empty supermarket shelves and being told to stay home, through the various levels opening up and shutting back down again.

It’s important to remember that ANY change is stressful for the body. This last year we have had more than our fair share and coming out of lockdown, positive as it is, is yet more change.

So if you are feeling a bit anxious about it all, you’re not alone. What you can do to help yourself is:

  • Come out on your terms. We’ll all do it at our own pace and if it feels overwhelming, just slow down a bit.
  • Try to reduce your stresses in other areas, by getting enough rest, eating as well as you can and cutting out the caffeine.
  • Drink herbal teas through the day to support your body and if stress is a problem choose calming drinks with chamomile, limeflower, valerian and orange blossom to help reduce feelings of anxiety.
  • Keep your blood sugar levels steady by snacking on protein rich snacks like nuts and seeds. Being hungry makes your body release adrenaline which makes you feel more anxious.

Everyone is going to do this next stage differently – the rules have been completely rewritten over the last 12 months, so now is a good time to draw your line in the sand, and come out of this in the way that supports you.

That way, when you’re ready to face the beer garden, you’ll enjoy yourself and that, after all, is what it’s all about!

Pamela Spence MNIMHAbout the author

Pamela Spence is a medical herbalist who runs one to one clinics, teaches widely and advises industry leaders on product development. She has been advising Twinings as their herbal expert since 2016. To learn more about using herbs every day to support your health, get her free guide here.


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