As lockdown eases on April 12th  following the government’s roadmap, we understand the pressure and stress some of us may feel when stepping out into the world. With the return of many of our beloved high street shops, hair salons and restaurants, the nervous anxiety surrounding leaving our front door and mingling with the public might feel overwhelming. We want you to know today that you’re not alone in feeling this way.

Although some might be excited to reunite with their friends and family beyond spending time in the garden together, for many, the prospect is quite daunting. A year in and out of lockdown is bound to cause us all to feel uneasy for one reason or another, and just because the world is reopening slowly doesn’t mean you have to jump back in until you’re ready.

The world can wait. And, whilst you’re trying to find your feet again, we’ve created four tips and tricks to help you this Spring…

 

Make choices you feel comfortable with 

 

It’s important to remember that just because you’re invited to an event or haven’t seen a particular loved one for a long while, doesn’t mean now that you have to say yes. You have to make decisions that feel right for you and if attending a certain restaurant or partaking in a social activity that means possibly spending time in a crowd bigger than you’re comfortable with, it’s perfectly acceptable to say no and state why. During these unprecedented times we’re sure your loved ones will respect your values, understanding why you might of set boundaries regarding the types of social experiences you’re willing and able to become part of.

 

Talk to someone you trust

 

We know how easy it can be to bottle up your feelings especially if you feel that the world around you is changing. Seeing your loved ones looking forward and making plans for the coming months might bring on unwanted stress or upset within yourself too, which is why it’s so important to vocalise our emotions. We urge you not to sit in silence, because often you’ll find that someone else feels just like you too.

So, whether you communicate to someone close to you, a neighbour or colleague, having someone simply listen can really help calm any tension you might be feeling.

 

Give yourself some time

 

Be gentle with yourself. This past year has been a lot to process, something completely out of our control that we’ve all had to deal with in our own way, as some of our lives may look completely different one year later.

Some might be coping better than others currently and that’s okay. But, it’s important to realise that whatever you’re going through, your feelings are valid. So, go at your own pace. Be kind and don’t rush.

 

Seek help

 

If you’re struggling much more than you’d imagined and feel worried about your mental health, there’s many ways you can reach out. You might want to start by contacting your GP for instance, however, there’s also lots of other charities and NHS services you can contact who can also provide support…

 

SHOUT 85258

24/7 text and support for anyone struggling to cope.

Text: SHOUT to 85258

Website: https://giveusashout.org/

 

CALM: Campaign Against Living Miserably.

A charity providing a mental health helpline and online chat from 5pm until midnight 365 days a year.

Tel: 0800 58 58 58

Website: www.thecalmzone.net

 

Men’s Health Forum

24/7 stress support for men by text, chat or email.

Website: www.menshealthforum.org.uk/beatstress.uk

 

SANE

Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers.

Textcare: comfort and care via text messages, sent when the person needs it most: www.sane.org/textcare

Peer support forum: www.sane.org.uk/supportforum

 

Anxiety UK

A charity offering support if you’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.

Tel: 03444 775 774 Monday – Friday 09:30 – 17:30.

Website: http://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/

 

Visit the One You Stress Less page for more information and resources.