Anxious about re-entering the world after lockdown?
In this post I am going to explain why leaving lockdown may be creating a lot of anxiety for you and how you can help yourself now!
Well, what a ride the last year has been and for a lot of us the uncertainty only seems to have gotten stronger over the last few weeks.
We have gone from stressing about being locked in, without access to gyms, not being able to see our families and friends to being told we are going to be released into the wild. For so many of us that has been a much scarier idea than we realised it would be, especially for those with disordered eating and anxiety.
We are supposed to be excited, aren’t we?
As a very tactile person I can’t wait to see my parents, my sister and Cai’s family and give them the biggest hugs. I also am super excited to be able to go out for date nights and do things like go to the cinema, have a coffee in a coffee shop and speak to people without feeling that they are getting too close.
But I also feel worried. Unsure how it will feel to be around people again after being stuck in my office and house for most of this year so far and I find myself thinking things like ‘will I know how to talk to people still’, ‘will they laugh at me if I get super awkward’ and I know that for many people who aren’t as far in their healing journeys that this will be a source of much greater anxiety.
You might find yourself worried about being seen again, being judged for real or perceived changes in your shape or weight, anxious about people bringing food into work, being asked out for dinner and so much more.
What disordered eating and anxiety do for us and why they are kicking up now
Disordered eating and anxiety are both things that are created in the mind and that are fed by fear. And I think this has been a time where the world has been filled with more real fear than most of us will ever have lived through, when a ‘Pandemic’ was a really twisted film rather than a reality.
In reality, we are stepping back into a world where we really get to thrive and not just live in fear, but it doesn’t necessarily feel like that. A lot of us may have found that in lockdown we crawled further into the perceived comfort of our disordered relationship with food, exercise and/or anxiety. Allowing it to take up more of your life and letting go of that ground, can feel really scary.
Here’s what you can do to help yourself
However, there are lots of things we can do now to start preparing ourselves so that when the time comes it isn’t such a leap from our current lives to a post-pandemic world. But the key is, that we have to start now. Nothing huge or scary, just tiny steps that will help you gain some ground back from the disordered eating/anxiety and give you more confidence that you can do this, because you really can.
So, I thought I would share some of the ideas I have to help you feel more confident and less afraid of what lies ahead:
Start stepping outside your comfort zone a little bit at a time
Use this time now to stretch your comfort zone, one thing a week or more would be fab. This could be asking your partner to cook a meal without you being there, buying something from the bakery rather than something in a packet or going to the supermarket rather than doing a click & collect so you can be around people.
Let yourself be seen
With being able to hide for so long behind a webcam or even without a camera on at all we may be anxious about being seen again. Let yourself be a little uncomfy now so you can adjust, whether that be turning your webcam on for a video call, showing up without make up on, showing more of your body or actually leaving the house. Stretch it a little more each week and you will be surprised what a difference it will make long term.
Create more safety in your body
This is beyond important for those of us with disordered eating and anxiety. We feel anxious and crave control because we think we need it to feel safe and that is what creates those horrible feelings. But we don’t need control to feel safe, we can have it within ourselves by simply knowing that whatever happens we will work it out. Sounds crazy I know! That’s why I have created a free training series on safety and the other human needs which also includes my most popular meditation to show you how to do just that, register below 😊.