Are you worried that you're not 'back to normal' with the lifting of the lockdowns? If so, you're not alone. Also, I think you should not worry about not being as you were pre-pandemic. Here's why.
We're being told that going out of lockdown = normal. No, it's not.
When we go out, everyone is wearing masks. It means we can't see expressions, and it reminds us of the pandemic. Not normal.
Also, everywhere you go, you have to check in, take temperatures and there are police and guards all over. Not normal.
If you're at work, there are SOPs, probably more masks, and you're constantly aware of having to maintain distance. Plus, you may be worrying that someone is infectious. Very stressful. Not normal.
Finally, if you do meet with friends, it's likely a part of the conversation is about the pandemic. While it's natural, that topic also reinforces the fact that we're in a pandemic. The tail-end of one, but still a pandemic.
So, my suggestion is this:
- Things are not normal.
- It's perfectly okay to feel what you feel.
- Accept that having feelings is a good thing. Being human means having feelings.
- Also, as emotions and feelings are notifications about your inner world and your environment, try to figure out exactly what you're feeling. You may be uncertain, fearful, angry, sad, intent - whatever it is, just see what is going on with you.
- Once you figure out what your emotions are telling you, help yourself cope. This can be tricky because it's intensely personal. But usually, knowing what's going on, plus a bit of breathing, and distraction (pet the cat! Talk to a friend!) can work wonders.
- But most of all, know that your reactions are perfectly okay. This is not normal times.
PS if you need help figuring out coping strategies, contact me. We can work it out together