The government’s announcement of the new roadmap has bought a lot of clarity for those eager to return to normal. However, we must be mindful that some people have adapted to this new way of life so the thought of coming out of lockdown may be worrying, especially for those who are considered vulnerable.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re looking forward to seeing our loved ones, but we need to recognise that it may have an impact on mental health as our lives change again.
We’ve put together a few useful tips to help you adapt back to normal life if you’re feeling nervous.
Go at your own pace
Your loved ones may want to celebrate that lockdown is over but it’s important for your own mental wellbeing that you go at your own pace. Don’t feel pressured to go out straight away as it could lead to feelings of stress and anxiety.
Be prepared for the dates to change
The government has said from the start that the dates could change, so don’t get your hopes up. We want to be optimistic but at the same time be mindful that there could be a few delays due to new variants or a sudden spike in infections. The furlough scheme has also been extended until September, which shows they’re prepared for the worst-case scenario.
Vary your routines
Working from home and going to work incorporates two completely different routines. Some roll out of bed and are office ready, unfortunately, you can’t do that when you go back to the office. By varying your routine, you will see more people and encounter different situations that will get you more familiar with getting back to normal. So, start altering your routine to get yourself ready to go back to the office, this could be going to bed earlier or making sure you have prepared your lunch the night before.
Keep your distance
We’ve been social distancing for more than a year now, so many of us may feel uncomfortable when people are too close. They may be more vulnerable, anxious or have just enjoyed people keeping their distance. There are some benefits to social distancing and one of them has been not having someone breathe down your neck when you’re queuing for your shopping.
A perfect way to minimise anxiety is to make plans. Make a list of things you would like to do, from going out to dinner to travelling abroad, and then put rough dates of when you would like to do these activities.
We offer the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) qualification at Marshall Centre. 50% of our colleagues have completed the training with the aim to have 100% qualified by the middle of the year. Mental Health First Aid trains people to spot signs of someone experiencing a mental health issue, listen without judgement, offer initial support and comfort and advice on further professional support if needed. Work related stress remains the number one cause for absenteeism, which costs UK employers up to £45 billion per year. Investing in MHFA training will ensure that your people feel safe and able to discuss their mental health and feel supported by their colleagues, which will reduce absenteeism due to stress.
To find out more about Mental Health First Aid, click here