Since Boris Johnson announced new Covid19 restrictions on Tuesday, we have been battling more anxiety over the second wave of the coronavirus. Having gone through lockdown once, the possibility of a second lockdown on the horizon if the country doesn’t curb the rate of infections is overwhelming. Even though none of us want to be going through more restrictions, this pandemic is unfortunately around for a while, so we need to find ways to cope and adapt and pull together to get through the next 6 months.
Ways to Protect Your Mental Health and Get Through the Coronavirus Pandemic
Let Yourself Feel
The most important thing when it comes to the next few months is let yourself feel how you feel. Allow yourself to work through those feelings, whether it’s fear, anxiety or anger. Give yourself the time and space to say, “this is rubbish, and this is how I am feeling’. This helps you come to terms with how you are feeling rather than just making yourself feel happy and positive all the time. If you are having to cancel big holidays, weddings or birthday celebrations, let yourself grieve the loss of those events. We sometimes dismiss the sadness saying that ‘other people are going through worse things’ but that doesn’t mean our sadness isn’t valid.
Accept The Next Few Months
Things feel rubbish right now. But unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to change the circumstances we find ourselves in. We all have to pull together to follow the rules and reduce the spread of the virus. Accepting this helps us cope with the next few months. Remind yourself, yes, it is rubbish, but eventually it will pass.
Control What You Can
We can often get overwhelmed worrying about the future of the economy, the amount of people dying from the virus, and how the restrictions are going to affect all of us in the long term. However, we can’t control any of these things. We can only control our own actions, and our own day to day choices. There is a lot you can’t control, but you can control what you have for lunch. It’s important to focus on what you can control.
Adapt Where Possible
At the moment, we have rules in place that can feel restrictive, such as not being able to see more than 6 people at a time, or a 10pm curfew on our time in bars and restaurants. However, it’s important that we adapt. If you had wanted to get a big group together, arrange a couple of smaller gatherings instead. Got an evening meal out planned? Have an earlier dinner and go out at 6pm instead. Rather than getting upset over the fact that things have to change, adapt and find a way to enjoy yourself anyway.
It’s important to relax and spend time looking after yourself. During the last lockdown, there was so much pressure to achieve so much in lockdown – home improvements, catching up on all your reading, finishing a big project. Instead of worrying about what you should achieve as you spend more time at home, do what you enjoy and whatever keeps your mind calm.
Remember, you have been through this before
When lockdown first happened at the beginning of the year, it was something we had never experienced before which made it a novelty and easier to handle. The unique thing about our situation now is that we have done it all before. That can come along with some sense of dread the second time round. However, this is not necessarily a negative, as this time we know what to expect. You know what things helped you get through it last time. It’s important to remember that you have done it before, and you can do it again.