'Coronaphobia' - Life After Lockdown

The term 'Coronaphobia' has become more popularised in media and over the internet over the last few weeks. As lockdown restrictions ease, some have been left feeling anxious about life post lockdown.

The term Coronaphobia itself is being used to describe the fear of returning to normality once lockdown is relieved; a fear that some would say is competely understandable. We’ve all been through a large change in our lives over the last few months and have been constantly bombarded by news and media reports of infections and death rates. You too may be asking yourself ‘what can I do to manage this anxiety so that I can start to contemplate and handle life as it was before lockdown'?

Here’s some tips on addressing any post-lockdown fears you might have.

1. Get yourself back into some form of routine.

During lockdown, many of were leaving the house for an hour or so a day to exercise and get some air. If you haven’t been doing this through lockdown, now might be a good time to start and in doing so, begin to prepare yourself for restrictions being lifted. Allow yourself time to get used to the sounds of the outside world again. If nothing else, your body will appreciate the exercise if you’ve not been keeping active and will burn up any excess adrenaline that your anxious body might be producing.  From there on, build on this structure by setting your plan for the next day in the evening before so you can prepare yourself for leaving the house if needed.

2. Continue to observe social distancing.

When outside of the house, keep your distance from people where possible in public; take that extra 30 seconds to wait for someone to pass at a safe distance. If keeping some space away from other members of the public will reduce your anxiety, then remember this is OK.

3. Take time to get used to everything going on.

It’s OK to allow yourself to slowly move back into your pre lockdown routine. If you can work from home, and don’t feel confident returning to work when it reopens, speak with your manager and let them know how you are feeling. Put in place a plan to continue to work through your anxiety.

4. You don’t have to do everything in one big leap and tackle everything in one go.

Instead, spread things out and execute a phased return to ‘normal life’. If you’re worried about specific issues, such as large public gatherings or using public transport, work on these difficulties slowly. For example, you can take public transport at less busy times and become used to the feeling of being on a bus/train again at your pace. You could also go to smaller events and slowly work yourself up towards attending anything bigger. Take little steps towards returning to life before lockdown. Remember, it’s a marathon and not a race.

And finally, if you need some additional support to help you through this challenging period, help is available.

National Mind has a page dedicated to helping manage feelings about lockdown easing and Anxiety UK offers an extensive range of information and support services, as well as a coronanxiety page.

South East and Central Essex Mind, 112a Southchurch Road

Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS1 2LX

Charity registration number 1148451