Why I don't want lockdown to end - for my mental health
As lockdown restrictions ease, the 'new normal' we've been living in is slowly starting to change. Some of our bloggers share why this makes them anxious.
I will miss spending so much time with my family
Lockdown is gradually easing and soon coming to an end. Throughout this time of uncertainty we have all faced different challenges. But I’ve found that lockdown has had a positive impact on my mental health and I am worried about it ending.
One reason why I don’t want lockdown to end is because I’ve had the chance to spend more time with my family. We’ve spent time gardening and appreciating the outdoors and wildlife together in our garden, and we finally got around to doing odd jobs around the house that we had been meaning to do for some time. These are things that we don’t normally have time to do, which have had a positive impact on my mental health.
I am also worried about the risk of another wave of coronavirus once lockdown has ended. I feel anxious about beginning to leave the safety of my home. I have stayed in my family bubble for months now, and as lockdown eases I will have to leave the comfort and protection I have got used to. I know it will be hard getting back into a routine and reconnecting with the world around me, but I also know it is something I have to do and that we can all come together and help each other out.
If you feel anxious about lockdown ending, read our page on coronavirus and mental health for tips on how to cope and suggestions on where to get support.
Lockdown has allowed me to put myself first
Before lockdown, it was easy to feel overwhelmed by commitments such as school or work that we felt we had to put first. However, self-isolation has given us the opportunity to take more control over what we focus on, which has allowed me to make myself my first priority.
With the days stretching out indefinitely, it has been a lot easier for me to set aside time for myself and put schoolwork and studies on the back-burner whenever I am feeling overwhelmed. This has meant I’ve been able to look after myself and my mental health a lot more over the past few months.
Lockdown ending will result in all those worries and commitments flooding back, and I know it won’t be as easy to look after myself when that time comes. We will all have to re-adjust to what life was like before and learn to balance the demands of everyday life with our mental health, but I hope that having this time now to look after ourselves will help us to tackle that transition.
If you’re feeling pressured to jump back into normal life, remember to be kind to yourself, go at your own pace and put your mental health first.
In lockdown I've felt less alone
For me, lockdown has meant fewer feelings of solitude and anxiety. I’ve always been good at presenting myself as a confident and sociable character who gets on with everyone, but as a consequence this has meant that my number of close friends has always stayed low. Ultimately, this has meant that FOMO (fear of missing out) has controlled my feelings of loneliness for a number of years now. But during lockdown, knowing that I was in the same boat as everyone else and that I wasn’t excluded from anybody’s plans was a big relief for me.
I am aware that because restrictions have been lifted, more and more people will be meeting up and reigniting their social interaction, which leaves those (including myself) who may not be invited to things in a difficult and isolated position. I’m worried that when lockdown ends, I’ll feel lonelier than ever.
Everybody feels lonely sometimes. Remember that the way things look from the outside isn’t always the way they really are on the inside. Try telling somebody how you feel – chances are they will have felt the same at some point too.
I will miss having so much time to myself
Despite lockdown coming at possibly one of the most crucial points in my life – my final year at university – it has had so many beneficial impacts on my life, even if I didn’t realise it at the time. Lockdown has allowed me to spend more time with myself than I ever have before. In turn, I am much more comfortable with spending time by myself, and I now love learning new things about me.
I have taken up yoga, something I would never have done if I was still living my hectic final year at university. Lockdown has made me slow down, take a step back and see the world in a different light.
When I think of lockdown coming to an end, I would be lying if I said it didn’t worry me. I have become so familiar with this new way of life in my own little bubble - not seeing friends as much, not physically going out to work and so much more. However, for life to continue and get back on track, I know I need to push myself, so I am trying to focus on being excited about what the future holds.
If you have enjoyed the slower pace of life in lockdown, try scheduling in time to check in with yourself and do some self-care even as restrictions lift.
Where to get help
For tips, advice and suggestions on where to get help - including on coping with the easing of lockdown - have a look at our page on coronavirus and mental health.