How do you feel about the prospect of lockdown being eased? Are you excited about the prospect of having a little more freedom, or anxious about what this means for your health, or somewhere in between? It's important to remember you're not alone in experiencing a range of emotions after adapting to lockdown life.

Daily Coronavirus Updates from the government are likely to spell out more ways that some parts of our normal life will very gradually resume over the coming weeks and months. Let's explore four of the feelings you might be experiencing.

Excitement

For those who have felt trapped indoors or claustrophobic during lockdown, there may be a sense of excited anticipation of the next tiny step towards normality. If you are going to make the most of any new freedoms, remember to stay safe and enjoy any new activities at a safe distance from others. Be sure to be kind to yourself when resuming activities. Be sure be kind to yourself - include more rest, adjustments to medication or a plan to make a gradual return, so your body and mind can get used to the changes in your day.

Confusion

If you are feeling bamboozled by conflicting information, or find there is no specific advice for your particular situation, it's important to make a list of the situations you are most concerned about and ask your healthcare professionals for their advice. You can then create your own set of guiding principles about the things that will and won't feel safe to do while still following the latest guidance from the government.

These decisions are very personal, and whilst it's not possible to make the 'ideal' choice, will help you feel a little more confident about the coming weeks. Review your list as new information and guidance becomes available and make changes that make you feel the most comfortable about adapting to any new lockdown stage. Share your list with your family or carers and ask them for any suggestions.

Anxiety or fear

For those who've been shielding, it's been helpful to be able to create a safe environment by staying indoors and knowing that most other people have largely been doing the same. As lockdown eases, those around us might start to do more things outside the house. Remember, healthcare professionals and local authorities will continue to update shielded people so do ask them if you feel unsafe and need extra support. There might also be anxieties about the prospect of returning to work or about family members who might start leaving their homes more and how safe they are.
See our selection of help and support links for advice on how to explore your feelings and bring a bit more calm into your life.

Disappointment

If you're used to having your family and friends around, playing team sports or socialising, the lockdown might have felt like it has dragged on forever. You may feel that waiting for each tiny part of lockdown to lift is very frustrating. All our experiences of lockdown are very personal. Try to keep up to date with the changes coming through and make the most of any new freedoms that come along. Browse our links to help and support on developing gratitude for what you are able to do and to take positive steps to lighten your days until you can get back to doing the things you love to do.

However you are feeling at the moment

Take your time. We've all had to make significant changes over the last few months and face the prospect of more to come. Remember, all the feelings we've talked about are completely understandable and everyone reacts differently.

You might find it helpful to seek out ideas and support to help you manage these feelings. Here are some great places to start:

Every Mind Matters

Mind

ADSHG Blog: Coping with Psychological Stress

ADSHG Article: Reducing the stress of a long term condition