Coping with the return to normality

Our daily routine has drastically changed as many have been confined to their homes or local towns for months. Those who have been living a restricted lifestyle are likely to have an understandable feeling of anxiety at the prospect of re-entering the world.

As we begin the gradual return to a post-Covid normality it is important to fight the disorienting feeling of uncertainty to avoid long-term symptoms of social anxiety. Here are our tips for managing anxiety and coping with the return to normality.


Take It Easy

managing anxiety

Firstly, it is totally normal to need time to acclimatise as the world begins to reopen. The extreme change in circumstances is comparative to those who spend time in the army or prison. Some are able to readjust easily, while others need help to return to everyday life. Don’t be hard on yourself, remember that what you are feeling is normal and will take time to ease. Do more of the things that bring you joy as these will keep you present and help you to relax.


Be Healthy

managing anxiety

Maintaining a consistent routine will give you a sense of control when external factors feel overwhelming. Aim to get eight hours of sleep per night to avoid the negative effects of sleep deprivation, like reduced brain function and low mood. Regular exercise has been shown to boost the happy hormone serotonin improving your mood and mental well-being, so get moving in whatever way you feel comfortable. Your diet can also directly and indirectly affect your emotional and cognitive function via the gut-brain axis (GBA). An unhealthy diet can cause your gut microbiome to become imbalanced resulting in anxiety and depressive-like behaviours – so it’s time to eat your greens!


Stay connected

Keep in contact with friends and family who will help you to stay grounded but avoid those who may add to feelings of stress or negativity. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help when you need it, remember it is normal to feel overwhelmed in such unusual circumstances. Talking about your concerns helps to put things into perspective by challenging anxious thoughts and interrupting the cycle of worry. Bottling things up can cause anxious thoughts to build up until they seem overpowering. Look out for those who support you and offer help in return.


Be Realistic

Choose a few reputable sources of information and stick to them. Once you have the facts, turn off the news and come away from social media channels. Overconsumption of information from unreliable sources may exacerbate feelings of uncertainty. Be realistic about the situation and use the information provided to better understand how to navigate daily life safely.


Be Proactive

To combat a loss of confidence with previously normal tasks, prepare yourself by ensuring you understand guidelines well. Be organised and in control when in contact with other people. Ensure you have any necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) – like a mask, gloves and hand sanitiser.
Try to recognise symptoms of stress, these may vary person-to-person. Being able to identify your own will allow you to take measures to reduce feelings of unease. Make the most of support systems in your workplace and don’t be afraid to call your GP for advice on better managing anxiety.


To find other tips on managing anxiety and maintaining a positive mental attitude at stressful times, read our previous post.