Today is the day where a lot more businesses are opening their doors around Ireland, from hairdressers to restaurants, so it feels like a bit of normality and it’s all very exciting. But at the same time, going into Phase Three is kind of overwhelming and let’s face it, a little scary. So if you’re feeling a bit apprehensive or anxious about the situation, that’s completely normal and understandably.
It’s been a really difficult, strange and worrying few months where we’ve almost gotten used to staying indoors and socialising virtually. Isolation can be both mentally and emotionally exhausting, which can easily feed into anxiety. So when we’re allowed do things and go to places that we haven’t been in months, those anxious feelings can easily crop up, or even, come as a blow.
But there are a few things to remember, and that you can do, to help these anxious feelings when we begin Phase Three.
Ease back into things
It’s important to remember that just because you can do certain things now that places and businesses are opening back up, doesn’t mean you really have to if you’re not feeling it. We’ve been staying at home for so long, that it will feel a bit weird if we try to throw ourselves back to normality straight away. So try to ease yourself into things if you’re not ready to go full steam ahead. Start off with little things, like taking a walk into town with your best friend and see how you feel. Each day, or each week even, you can do something different to ease yourself into the new normal.
Say if you’re feeling overwhelmed
If you’re out and about, or even staying at home for a little while because you’re not ready to go to certain places, and you’re feeling overwhelmed, just say it. Whether you’re with your friends or your family, explain to them that you’re feeling a little anxious and you’d rather not be in this situation. It’s perfectly normal to feel a bit strange about everything right now, so they’ll understand. It’s much better to take yourself out of a situation if you’re not ready for it, so that’s okay too.
Remember that things will take time
We already knew that things wouldn’t get back to normal straight away, but seeing all of the new social restrictions put in place (like the perplex screens) can really come with a bang. But remember that it will take time to adjust to this new normal, and if it takes you a little longer to adjust than other people, then that’s okay. We’re going through a pandemic, there’s no normal way to feel or behave, so take your time.
It’s super important to remember to take care of yourself now more than ever, of course physically but also mentally and emotionally too. This is where self-care comes in. Whatever self-care is to you, whether that’s reading a book, yoga, cooking, watching Netflix, whatever it is, make sure to schedule some time for it and take care of you.
Follow the guidelines
We know that, unfortunately, not everyone is going to follow the guidelines, but it’s so important to do what you can. Wear your face mask (don’t forget to wash it after each use if it’s not a disposable one), follow social distancing where you can, use hand sanitiser when you’re out and about, keep washing your hands even more regularly than before, and most importantly, stay safe.
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