How to Deal With Post-Lockdown Anxiety
Since March 2020, we have become used to staying at home, not seeing people, and not visiting public spaces like pubs or nightclubs. Now, however, with all lockdown restrictions to be lifted this month, there is suddenly a widespread expectation for everyone to ‘get back into the world’. For many people, this idea can produce feelings of anxiety.
As a busy therapy practice providing counselling in Hampstead, Highgate and online, many of our clients have come to us with fears about making this quick transition from isolation to being surrounded by other people. You might need some support making this adjustment, so here are a few things to keep in mind if you are experiencing post-lockdown anxiety.
Take Your Time
With lockdown lifting, there is a pressure to immediately return to nightclubs, restaurants, bars, and other places where large groups gather, causing feelings of health anxiety or social anxiety. Perhaps you feel obligated to immediately throw yourself back into the deep end. Your friends may be pressuring you to do exactly that.
Recognising these external pressures and refusing to let your behaviour be dictated by them is an effective way of keeping your post-lockdown anxiety under control. Getting caught up in the rush will only make things worse. The transition back to ‘normal life’ is set to be a long one, so there is no good reason to do it all at once. If you don’t feel comfortable enough to visit a nightclub, for instance, always remember that they aren’t going anywhere. Visit them when the time feels right; not when somebody tells you to.
At a time like this, it is common to be swept up by the emotions and anxieties of others, which contributes to post-lockdown anxiety. Creating a mental routine, whereby you remain conscious of your thoughts in the present moment, helps you to manage these feelings better.
Our team of experienced, qualified counsellors in Hampstead, Highgate and online work with you to promote mindfulness - a crucial aspect of handling post-lockdown anxiety, as it helps you to reduce your worries about the future and to stay in the present, with greater understanding of - and compassion towards - any intrusive or negative thoughts. Working towards greater mindfulness in this way will naturally reduce your levels of post lockdown anxiety.
You might feel like you are all alone; that you are the only one going through post-lockdown anxiety. Opening up to others about challenging emotions can be extremely difficult. However, you will be surprised at how many friends or family members may be experiencing the same feelings of post-lockdown anxiety as you. Reaching out to people and hearing them express the same anxious thoughts experienced by yourself will help ease the burden and make you feel less alone.
If you want to talk through your post-lockdown anxiety with a professional counsellor in Hampstead, Highgate or online, get in touch with our team of counsellors. We combine a number of different counselling approaches to help you work through challenges in your work, personal relationships, and any other anxieties you have as we move towards a post-pandemic world.
The Importance of Counselling in the Workplace
For many people, the workplace can be a stressful environment. This is especially the case in the wake of COVID-19, during which individuals became used to working from the comfort of their own home. While some will prefer being back in the office, others may feel a considerable level of anxiety.
On the flipside, there are high numbers of employees who are struggling with the isolation of working from home. There may also be deeper problems, like a bereavement or some other life transition, that could be affecting an employee’s ability to remain productive and feel satisfied in their job.
In response to this plethora of issues, companies have recognised the need to support their employees in some way, but usually they turn to EAP (Employee Assistance Programmes) providers, who only provide a more generalised, one-size-fits-all service as opposed to targeted personalised support. A more specific workplace counselling service, like the one offered by us, can be so important for the workplace. Here are a couple reasons why.
A Better Working Environment
If an employee is going through an issue of some kind, like depression, it does not just affect them. If mental health issues are not addressed, people will bring that stress into the workplace. They may withdraw into themselves and communicate less. Over time, this bad feeling seeps into the wider office environment, creating an atmosphere governed by stress and negativity.
Giving your employees the right kind of bespoke support, on the other hand, makes them feel supported and understood. They will feel less alone and bring a happier attitude to the workplace. The overall mood of the office consequently improves, leading to better relationships and more effective communication.
Along with helping employees feel happier and more fulfilled in their daily life, workplace counselling has a practical use as well. The simple reality is that an unhappy person makes an unproductive, unreliable employee. They may struggle to concentrate, or perhaps call in sick more often, bringing overall productivity down and costing employers money.
Having a dedicated support system in place, where any employee can seek confidential workplace counselling adapted to their needs, shows that you care about your employee. This, in turn, gives them greater incentive to not just work to the best of their ability each day but also remain at the company for longer.
If you are looking for workplace counselling in Hampstead or online for your business, get in touch with us or head to our Workplace Counselling page to find out more. Once up and running, we provide a 30-minute consultation to gain a full understanding of the needs of any employee who comes to us. This generally involves a CBT-based, solution-oriented approach, delivered either over Zoom or at the office, depending on their preferences.
What is the Difference Between Counselling and Psychotherapy?
If you are seeking therapy for the first time, you might be wondering whether you are better suited to counselling or psychotherapy. Our team of experienced practitioners are qualified to offer both kinds of professional help to suit a wide range of different situations for people of all ages. To help you decide which form of therapy is best for you, this blog post gives you a clear explanation of what each one offers.
Counselling focuses on dealing with the issues you are facing in the present moment. You might have a specific crisis you are going through and need a place to talk freely about the issue at hand. In this instance, short-term, CBT-based counselling can be very beneficial, as your therapist will work with you to create actionable solutions and healthier ways of thinking about the problem, which in turn reduces the negative role it plays in your life.
To do this, your therapist may also incorporate mindfulness into your work together. This will involve increasing your awareness of the thoughts, feelings and behaviours that happen automatically and contribute to poor mental health. Your therapist will help you to notice and identify these feelings and ultimately process them in a more compassionate, healthier way.
While counselling deals with issues affecting you in the here and now, psychotherapy explores your life in a deeper way. It is a longer-term treatment that is generally better suited to more complex mental health conditions that have existed for a prolonged period of time. The aim is to improve your awareness of where certain emotions/behaviour come from and how they influence the way you think, feel and behave in the present.
Once again, we may use mindfulness as a way of helping you turn towards uncomfortable past experiences and how they make you feel in the moment. Allowing yourself to become truly aware of past events and the role they play in the present is a crucial part of psychotherapy. Having this level of understanding makes it much easier to prevent certain emotions and/or behaviours from continuing to negatively affect your life in the same way as before.
If you are still unsure about whether you require counselling or psychotherapy in Hampstead or online, feel free to get in touch with us to arrange a free, no-obligation 30-minute consultation.
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