COVID-19 has affected us all in different ways, and it's been a worrying time for lots of us. As the situation changes, you might feel nervous about the future or frustrated by the way your life has changed. It's important to remember it's OK to feel this way and that everyone reacts differently. For most of us, these difficult feelings will pass.
There are simple things we can do to help manage the way we feel and make it easier to adjust:
Go at your own pace
Take it step by step, and only do what is comfortable and safe for you to ease back into socialising.
Take small steps
Try to set yourself small but manageable targets. Start with activities that are important to you and feel achievable – like meeting close friends and family for a coffee or snack outside – and gradually build up from there. You may also wish to wear a face covering for your own protection if this helps you to feel more content.
Make sure everybody is on the same page
Before socialising with others, talk about the situation with them to make sure everybody is on the same page about what feels comfortable. Being aware of everybody's fears and expectations can help to avoid conflict.
Talk to somebody
It's easy to feel isolated or lonely when we're struggling. Opening up to a person we trust can be really helpful, whether it's a friend or family member, a GP or an organisation's helpline or online forum.
Focus on the present
When there is lots of change happening, we can get caught up in worrying about the future and the past. Instead, try to shift your focus to the present – make plans but try not to dwell on 'what ifs' or what was 'supposed' to happen.
Relaxation, mindfulness or getting outside and enjoying nature are all good ways to help you focus on the present.