How are you feeling about the easing of the lockdown restrictions? Perhaps you are anxious, excited, unprepared, impatient, conflicted, ready or overwhelmed? Whatever, emotion you feel towards this change, just remember it is completely normal and you are one of many who feel EXACTLY the same!
It feels surreal and a little bit bizarre, that we have been waiting for this moment for so long and now it is finally on the horizon! Together, as a society we have been through over a year of restrictions and rules. Some of us will have only just started to adjust and accept this new COVID norm, yet, with the Government producing a Road Map out of lockdown, we at De Montfort Students' Union (DSU) think it’s important we talk and prepare ourselves to integrate back into the new social world.
While stepping back into society remember, people are all unique and different. Everyone will have their own thoughts, excitements and worries about this process. For example some individuals probably feel the easing of lockdown restrictions could not come quick enough; “it is time for one big celebration and a huge PARTY!” and they are totally right. This should be a time to celebrate seeing our loved ones.
However, not everyone will relate, lockdown has been a blessing, a worry and a comfort blanket for so many, and most likely these individuals may now be dreading to get back outside and socialise. This is completely normal, we have spent over a year being told to stay inside and social distance, it will take time to feel comfortable going back to how things once were. Perhaps you don’t want things to go back, as you have found a new comfort in your regime with new friends and new hobbies, this is also ok and it's important you don’t feel guilty doing what is best for you!
These points emphasise, you are only human! No matter where you fit on the scale of the easing of lockdown restrictions, do not expect too much of yourself straight away. Give yourself time to adjust back to the new normal and remember change is tiring! It has been exhausting, bouncing between restrictions, learning and working from home to not being able to see loved ones. Therefore, do not be too harsh on yourself if you do not do everything you wanted to do straight away, it is a marathon not a sprint!
Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t. Although it might feel strange that we can do certain things and not others, it is important we remain in control and consider the rules and regulations of social distancing, as it is still important! Don’t break the rules now, no matter how tempting it may be, we all need to do what we can to make this work!
Likewise, the easing of lockdown restrictions are just guidance, it is not compulsory to go to the pubs or shops immediately! If you are feeling a little apprehensive about stepping back into society, do not worry you are not alone. Encourage yourself to take small steps, such as going to the shops early in the morning, meeting one friend in the garden or going for a walk round the high street. It is going to be challenging but it is important you remember it is ok to take your time. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, take it step by step and encourage yourself to break out of your covid comfort zone!
No matter your belief on the easing of restrictions, or where you fit on the scale, just remember be respectful of the government guidance and other people's decisions. Everyone has their own boundaries, and processes. This is all new, we are in it together so let's get back on track!
For further information on this topic, check out the Charity Mind as they cover all things feelings and emotions towards the easing of lockdown restrictions.