We’re in a less aggressive lockdown, but for some of us, the thought of returning to work or venturing into the outside world could be overwhelming.
Months of being in a state of high alert or fear about infection, coupled with restricted social interaction and the myriad other difficulties caused by the pandemic could have triggered a fear of going back to normality – or ‘Coronaphobia’, as it’s been dubbed.
But the good news, is that lockdown started in March, so if you do have any corona-related fears and phobias, we don’t have to look too far back to remember a time when we felt OK. Brining hypnotherapy in early on, can stop you from getting any worse, but also can return you to ‘feeling normal’.
There are very few of us who will emerge from the past few months without having experienced an effect on our mental health and mood at some point. Whether you’ve been directly affected by the virus itself, had work or financial-related stress, been worried about your child’s education, or have suffered loneliness, the pandemic has touched on every pressure point of modern life.
As lockdown restrictions begin to relax, many of us who have struggled should start to feel our mood brighten. The gradually increased freedoms and a sense of slowly returning to normality will all help to boost our feelings of wellbeing.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists has seen an alarming rise in the number of people needing urgent and emergency care with 43% of psychiatrists reporting an increase in the number of these types of cases following the lockdown. 45% have seen a fall in their routine appointments, leading to fears of a ‘tsunami’ of mental illness.
There are a number of reasons why you might be fearful about returning to normal life, but there are positive steps you can take to feel more calm.
Fear of germs – remember, you were fine before lockdown
Months of being vigilant about hygiene and avoiding activities that increase the risk of infection may have led to a disproportionate fear of germs. Being meticulous about hygiene is of course important right now. But if you find that washing your hands or cleaning your house is necessary to relieve feelings of distress or irrational thoughts, it could be a sign that a phobia is taking hold.
Simply leaving the house frequently can help to calm these feelings. If you’re at home and not occupied, you have more time to think about your fears. Going out can help to take your mind off your worries. Try to remember that before the pandemic, you will have been in innumerable situations in your life where you have been exposed to germs but come to no harm.
Returning to work
If going back to your place of work worries you, discuss with your manager whether you could make a staggered return – perhaps working from home for a little longer and gradually building up the number of days you come into the office.
Share your worries and use any resources they have available such as healthcare or occupational health; they might have some useful help and advice for you.
It can be difficult to switch off anxiety, even when the cause of it is not as much of a threat as it once was. You might find yourself feeling constantly tense or on edge and having irrational thoughts. Constantly being reminded of the ongoing situation will only fuel these feelings so it’s a good idea to take a break from the news and social media for a day or two.
If you’re worried that you’ll miss an important update, select a trusted source of information such as the government’s coronavirus website and choose a time every few days to check it. Be strict about limiting the length of time you spend on the site – get the information you need, then do something fun or relaxing to distract you and stop you from trawling!
Hypnotherapy can help
If you’re concerned that you’re struggling with phobias, anxiety or stress, hypnotherapy could be an effective way of getting on top of them early on. It can help you address the root of the problem, resetting your mind to a time when you didn’t feel these distressing emotions and teach you techniques to help deal with them. Lockdown started in March, so we don’t have to think too far back to a time when we felt differently – and we can get you back there!
If you’re unsure, consider one of our free discovery sessions where we’ll uncover whether hypnotherapy is right for you.
I’m confident that we can help you take control of your problems, so they don’t control you.