Practise self-awareness and compassion
It’s completely understandable to feel a mixture of emotions right now – particularly as the situation continues to change daily. On one hand, you might be craving some structure to your day, or looking forward to a socially-distanced catch up outside with a friend. But on the other hand, you might feel concerned or anxious about returning to situations you haven’t been in for some time. The key is to recognise this and be kind to yourself. If you find you’re being self-critical – ask yourself – how would I speak to a friend right now? You deserve to show yourself the same care and compassion that you would to someone else.
Speak to someone you trust
Share your fears and concerns with someone you feel comfortable talking to. The chances are they’re experiencing similar feelings. Sharing how you’re both feeling can help you both to feel supported and understood. If you have specific concerns about returning to work, speak to your line manager and colleagues.
Consider which situations you’re feeling particularly anxious about and decide what you could do in this situation to help ease your concerns. For example, if you’re anxious about taking public transport, can you find another way to travel? If not, could you travel at a quieter time of day when there may be less people around?
If you’re worried about returning to work, could you speak to your manager and ask to compress the hours you spend in the office? Plan ahead where possible, and take a positive, problem-solving approach.
Arm yourself with trustworthy information
The guidance on what to do and how to stay safe during coronavirus is constantly evolving. So it’s understandable if you’re feeling unsure what hygiene precautions you should take, or what social distancing measures to follow.
Knowledge is power here! Arming yourself with the correct facts will help you feel confident that you know what to do, and can help ease your worries. But if watching or reading the news about coronavirus makes you feel anxious, limit this to once a day. It’s important to make sure the information and advice you’re reading comes from sources that are up-to-date, trustworthy and evidence-based. Keep up to-date with the latest guidance on coronavirus at gov.uk and find out how to identify high-quality information in our fact-checking article.
Look after your wellbeing
Taking care of your physical health can help you to cope with feelings of anxiety and stressful situations when they arise. Try to eat a healthy diet, limit alcohol, exercise regularly and get good-quality sleep. Remember to take some time out to look after yourself. Try a few different things until you find what works for you. You could try reading a book, practise mindfulness, get creative, bake or go outdoors for some exercise. Spending time outside in green, open spaces can have positive effects on your wellbeing.
Focus on the positives
Try to focus on the positives and take pleasure from the little things you can enjoy again. Maybe you’re looking forward to getting a takeaway coffee from your favourite café again. Or it might be having a socially-distanced garden visit with a loved one you’ve been missing.