Coronaphobia and life after lockdown

Back May 11th, 2020

The term Coronaphobia has become more popularised in media and over the internet over the last few weeks. With the possibility of lockdown being eased, 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. As it is, many of us are still 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. Start getting 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, Anxiety UK offers an extensive range of support services from online anxiety management groups, through to 1:1 therapy services offering therapies such as Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), counselling and clinical hypnotherapy – further details here: –  https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/our-services/accessing-therapy/  And for information and support on all aspects of anxiety and coronavirus, please visit our coronanxiety webpage: https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/coronanxiety-support-resources/ and for immediate support, we have an instant access, online therapy service at: https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/tod/ or our national helpline: 03444 775 774