Coming out the other side of lockdown

When lockdown began in March 2020, it was fast and hard. We had little time to fully consider its impact as we all followed government guidance, whether that was home-working and home-schooling, shielding at home alone, or continuing to work on the front line and putting our own health at risk to protect others.

Over the last 18 months, we have all been affected by the stop-start nature of tier systems, local lockdowns, and the opening and closure of schools. The winter lockdown was undeniably harder for many than the more sunny days of spring 2020. We now find ourselves in a gradual easing of lockdown – which remains at risk of again being stalled – with many of us beginning to return to office environments and social gatherings.

Everyone has a different relationship with change and uncertainty. While many of us may be embracing even a partial return to what our lives looked like before, others are experiencing difficult feelings and emotions.
We may feel we have less control over our choices and are expected to move out of our new-found comfort zones before we’re ready. All of these feelings, from excitement to fear and everything in between, are valid, and it’s important that we don’t make assumptions about how others are feeling. We have all learned to control the things within our immediate environment as a way of coping with the pandemic and as some of our control is relinquished, we need to assess what positive coping techniques we can carry forward.

West Kent Mind’s top tips for navigating this next period of uncertainty and change:
• Have open and honest conversations with friends, family and colleagues about how you are feeling
• Develop your self-awareness in order to identify your triggers as well as the protective measures you can put in place
• Explore tactics to help you step out of your comfort zone safely and with confidence

We all experience difficult emotions, stress and feelings of anxiety from time to time, but it’s never too early to ask for support if these thoughts and feelings are starting to interfere with how you want to live your life, or having a detrimental effect on your overall health and wellbeing.

Identifying what helps to keep us well, whether that be at home or at work, can be a hugely powerful tool for adapting to change.

We are running a workshop on 9th June, open to anyone in our West Kent community, where we will look at how we may be feeling as lockdown eases, and discuss practical strategies to help us move forward at a pace that we are comfortable with. This session aims to help us recognise that everyone’s thoughts and feelings about the current situation are unique, and to normalise these diverse and sometimes conflicting responses.
Numbers are limited to provide a safe and supportive environment for everyone.

The workshop is free to attend, but if you would like to make a donation to support our vital services please visit www.westkentmind.org.uk/donate.
For more information or to book your place, please email training@westkentmind.org.uk.