As restrictions are beginning to ease many people may be feeling anxious about re-entering the world.
ue to this, St Patrick’s mental health services has released tips on how to ease these feelings of anxiety and worry as part of its Walk in My Shoes campaign.
Mental health experts recommend that those who are feeling overwhelmed should adjust to restrictions easing at their own pace.
“Set achievable tasks for yourself each week to adjust your current routine,” they said.
“This may mean saying no to others’ requests at times or asking to do things differently. This will also give you the space to build confidence in being around others more.”
Other tips for those feeling anxious or worried include talking to friends and family about how they’re feeling, being kind to themselves, and trying to look forward to the future.
“Talking to friends or family about feelings of anxiety is a vital part of looking after our mental health,” the service said.
“It is especially important if those around you are more at ease with relaxing restrictions.
“If you still feel more comfortable meeting friends and family in a socially distanced way, being open about this will let them know what to expect of you during this time.”
Mental health experts added that recognising what can and can’t be controlled is “a very important part of managing anxiety.”
“For example, things that we can control include seeking information from reliable sources and sticking to the recommended guidelines for each phase,” they said.
The organisation added that it’s also important for those struggling to remember that social interaction will be hard for everyone as “we are all a bit out of pratice.”
“What may feel daunting now will likely be much easier than we anticipate,” they said.
“Be confident that you will once more realise and enjoy the benefits of socialising and intimacy which are so essential to our wellbeing.”
CEO of St Patrick’s mental health services, Paul Gilligan, said feelings of anxiety with the easing of restrictions is likely for those who experienced anxiety before the pandemic.
“We have all had to adapt rapidly to varying levels of change,” he said. “Control over our own lives has been significantly reduced since the start of the pandemic, and we will need to rediscover our confidence and preparedness to take risks.
“For anyone who is finding the anticipation of increased social activity stressful, please be assured that this is normal, and that the psychological journey to recovery will take time.”
The Walk in My Shoes campaign will be marking its 6th #MindYourSelfie day tomorrow, March 27.
People are encouraged to share stories and pictures of the people, places and things that have helped them through, using the hashtag with the aim of creating uplifting and hopeful messages across social media.
Anyone who uses the hashtag on the day will be entered into a draw to win a gift voucher.