Lockdown has had an impact on so many aspects of our lives, but for some who were advised at the outset of Covid-19 to shield life has undeniably been more challenging than for many of us.
At the start of lockdown more than 9 million people were advised to shield to protect themselves for a variety of reasons, staying isolated in their own homes until July.
Like many of us, those who were shielding became much more adept at communicating and connecting with friends and family online. This lifeline has helped everyone feel connected throughout the pandemic.
It’s important for those not ready to return to their normal routines that they do not lose those connections they have established with those close to them.
If someone close to you is still shielding and reaches out for your support try and give them the time they need as you may be the only contact they have had with the outside world for the day.
Equally, if you’re continuing to shield remember to reach out and stay in contact with people. While it, may be difficult seeing others returning to some degree or normality, your well-being relies on their support for you to, don’t feel you have to cut yourself off from the outside world any more than necessary.
One worry of the shielding process for those that live alone who are required to isolate – who may not have access to online communications/phone – is the impact on their mental health and well-being.
Since the lifting of shielding at the start of July, many have been able to embark upon resuming some degree of normality, finally taking exercise or visiting the shops.
Many have felt hesitant adapting to the “new normal”, understandably so, but that’s fine, take your time and go at your own pace. If you don’t feel ready to be taking regular trips outside then continue as you have been. Putting your health and mental well-being first is the most important thing; you can continue to communicate with those closes to you via other means!
However, for some the messaging around whether they should continue to shield or if it is okay for them to leave the house has been confusing, leading to more worry and anxiety.
Anxiety UK has a number of free resources available on our shop that you can download directly to your PC or mobile device. This includes our breathing and relaxation guide, panic attack booklet and stress and anxiety booklet. We also have a wide range of support webinars that are available to everyone on our YouTube channel and a wide range of self-help books and guides on our shop covering a range of anxiety conditions.
If you feel you would benefit from some professional support you can access our Therapy on Demand service for short term, quick support. If you’re looking for something more long term our therapeutic services have been continuing to run through the current pandemic and can both be accessed from the comfort of your own home.
Anxiety UK has also recently begun offering an anxiety management course led by an Anxiety UK approved therapist and a support group with likeminded individuals looking for a little bit of extra support and some friendly voices.