It’s been an incredibly difficult few months, there’s no denying that. But human beings are resilient. We have the ability not only to survive and recover from trying situations, but also to grow. Psychologists have identified a phenomenon called post-traumatic growth, when people emerge from a traumatic situation stronger than they were before. Giving us the chance to reconnect with ourselves – remembering who we are, what our purpose is and what our passions are – it can also be extremely helpful to think about all the things we are grateful for. We can be both grateful for our blessings, and both mindful of the challenges we are facing: one experience does not invalidate the other.
With the easing of lockdown restrictions across some countries, new concerns are arising about how to manage reintegrating into society in a safe way. MOJEH asked Sonia Singhal, Psychologist at Dubai’s Thrive Wellbeing Centre, on ways to manage life after lockdown, and how to step back into the swing of things, slowly but surely.
Ease into it
As with any transition, it is better to ease into it gradually and take things one step at a time, rather than taking on too much all at once. If you are returning to work, make a plan with your employer on how to safely reenter the workplace. If you are reconnecting with family and friends in person, engage in open and honest dialogue and respect each other’s opinions and feelings about how to interact safely.
Be kind to yourself
It will take time to adjust to the ‘new normal’ and it is important to be kind to yourself during this transitional period. Practice self-compassion and be patient with yourself, and others, as you navigate life after lockdown.
Although the lifting of lockdown restrictions implies that it is now safe to engage in certain activities, it can be overwhelming and confusing to think about returning to life as it was before the lockdown. Focus on what is important and essential to you and your family and prioritize the activities, events and responsibilities that are necessary for daily living, emotional wellbeing and healthy functioning.
Anxiety is a common response during times of uncertainty, when one feels a lack of control over what might happen. Instead of expecting things to be the same as they were before the lockdown, try your best to prepare for yourself for all the changes. The more prepared you are, the less powerless you will feel.
Whether you are choosing to ease back in or leap back in, remember to stay safe, and keep others safe, by continuing to take the necessary precautions, such as wearing a mask, washing your hands and social distancing. Highlight the positives and focus on what is in your control today. When in doubt, reach out for support at Thrive.ae.
- Words by Lucy Wildman