Will all restrictions be eased on June 21st? Won’t they? Will your wedding be successful or not? Can you go back to work or not? There is a tug-of-war – and it makes us spiritually exhausted.
While some politicians seem to believe that England’s “unlockdown” will go as planned, rooftop scientists are shouting that it needs to be pushed back. Our own feelings about the topic are at risk.
Many people wait with bated breath to reopen their business and get back to work. Others can hardly wait to experience a piece of normalcy again: to go to a nightclub, to attend a festival or to attend a soccer game.
The therapist Sophie Harris also nods to those willing to marry, who hold back from having children until after the wedding, whose whole life feels as if it has come to a complete standstill. With so many people, everything hangs in the balance – and the don’t-we-don’t-we rhetoric makes it worse.
Shelley Treacher, a member of the Therapists and Counseling Directory, has clients who are nervous about the reopening but also feel isolated – a dichotomy many face.
“There’s also nervousness about the unpredictability of all of this,” she says. “Many are desperate that things may never change.” And it’s no wonder they feel that way, considering this is the third lockdown the UK is slowly coming out of.
Over the past year there has been a gap between what politicians and scientists say about Covid matters. We’ve seen it over and over with the wearing of masks, the opening of schools, and the transition to locks. This constant back and forth is “one of the greatest sources of stress” for people who follow both science and politics, says therapist Grace Warwick.
And that’s how people get stuck. Are you reading everything to keep up with the news and face the different narratives about whether or not we will get out of the lockdown? Or avoid it – and feel in the dark about what could happen?
As the date approaches – Boris Johnson is expected to confirm what will happen on June 14th – it’s important to be honest with yourself about how you are feeling. “To deal with this, many of us have normalized the situation we are in,” says Warwick. “We have to acknowledge that it has taken its toll in many ways and, where possible, rest and be nice to ourselves.”
If the will-we-not-we-not narration proves to be stressful on your mental health, “it might help to cut your messaging significantly,” says Harris. Some may find it helpful to set a limit to adhere to – for example, once a day or once a week.
Try to focus on what you can control, not what you can’t. “The human brain is prone to certainty and clarity,” psychotherapist Lucy Beresford told HuffPost UK. “If we don’t get it, we often do it. This leads to thinking errors or assumptions – but they don’t always help. “
When struggling with everyday life, Beresford advised, “Maintain a daily routine, eat nutritious foods, and have a good sleep rhythm. Be grateful for the little things of your day and try to stay in the moment as much as possible. “
If you find yourself getting lost in “worst-case” scenarios, try to distract yourself from these thoughts so they don’t get too intrusive or bothersome. And if the unlock takes place on June 21st and you’re concerned about what it means for your health – or that of your family – Treacher advises taking it slow and only doing what you’re comfortable with.
We know that Covid spreads faster in crowded indoor spaces with poor ventilation. The longer you stay in such places, the greater your risk of Covid. If you can avoid these factors – while maintaining social distance, washing your hands, wearing a mask – it can help you stay safe. “Each individual’s answers are different and equally valid. Only do what you are comfortable with, ”she says.
“The key is to get back to what is best for you, not what others decide. Usually we imagine that everyone else is doing better than us and think we should fit in with others. The chances are good that millions think the same way. “