#AskTheTherapist

With restrictions lifting and life slowly returning back to normal, how can we cope with the anxiety that some of us may be experiencing?

“You don’t fear change. You fear the unknown. If you knew the future would be great, you’d welcome the change to get there. Well, the future is great. Proceed.”

– Joe Vitale.

After the last 18 months or so, it is hard trying to return back to what normality use to be or what we perceived it to be. There may be a feeling of uncertainty and paranoia present with us at the moment. However, there is also a feeling of relief and happiness as we return to our old routines. As you return to what you are familiar with and what you have missed, remember it is ok if you are feeling anxious or nervous about being back in people’s company again after keeping to yourself the last while. Try not to pressure yourself into what you feel you “should” do and instead do whatever you feel you can do. When anxiety is present within you try to take as much control over yourself as possible.

When going out into the community pick one small activity/outing at a time. If you are going out, create a safety plan for yourself. For example ask yourself these questions as they will help you to feel more in control of yourself and your surroundings:

– What time you will leave your home at.

– What day you will go

-Who will go out with you.

-Where you will you go.

-What you will do.

– What time you will return home at.

Be aware that while you are out, if you feel the need to return home, that is perfectly fine. It will take some time to get used to being around different individuals again. Instead return home and celebrate the fact that you felt capable of going out instead of being hard on yourself and the situation.

Being in control when you are feeling anxious, worried or even at times, scared, is vital. Self-talk is a good method of calming the mind when you are feeling overwhelmed with events in life, such as COVID. Self-talk can help you to remain in the present instead of fortune telling i.e “What if….”.

Like Joe Vitale said, it is not the event or subject that we fear, it is making a change and coming out of our comfort zones.

As long as you protect yourself to the best of your ability, everything will be ok.

 

Kayla Niblock
CBT Therapist
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