Adapting to change isn’t an easy task. When the world flipped upside down at the start of the pandemic, it took some adjusting to what the media calls a “new normal”. If you’re experiencing reopening anxiety with the lockdown restrictions now easing, you’re not alone.
The sun is shining and the beer garden is full. There is a lot of excitement in the air about the Government’s plan to ease lockdown, allowing us a sense of freedom we haven’t felt in over a year. With a successful vaccine rollout, many people are over the moon about the potentially “normal” summer ahead.
But not everyone will share this sense of excitement, sunshine or not, there will be many out there that have a sense of fear or anxiety about the world opening back up, especially as quickly as it is outlined to. After so long of adapting, isolation and learning a new routine, another big change might be met with trepidation.
“A recent YouGov survey suggests that up to half of Britons will find it difficult to re-adjust to life after lockdown. If you’re feeling it too, you’re not alone!”
For some, slipping back into how life was before the pandemic might seem easy, but for anyone managing a chronic illness like type 1 diabetes, the change back isn’t as simple as remembering to set the alarm an hour earlier to accommodate a commute. It brings about feelings of anxiety, as well as large amounts of planning and decision making, on top of the stress the pandemic has already caused, not to mention the threat of new variants. It can seem intimidating. Commuting, working from an office, eating out, even seeing friends after so long might seem overwhelming, but there are things you can do to ease back in.
Take your time
The most important way to readjust to life after lockdown is to ensure you take your time. In the first lockdown, some people with diabetes experienced sudden changes to their activity levels and food intake, which brought about a need to change their treatment. Anticipating changes in activity and food again after lockdown, can help you ease back into a new routine and make changes to treatments if required. This gives you and your diabetes time to adjust to changes much slower than we were able to in the first lockdown.
If you’re one of the many that started using the Quin app using lockdown your data is likely adapted to your lockdown routine, so if you’re about to start travelling into work or exploring new restaurants again, be sure to record your new activities in the app to get the most accurate, personalised data and help you manage your blood sugar after lockdown.
Rushing back into things and thinking they will be exactly the same will only increase anxiety and slow down progress. It is ok to take things slow and adapt at your own pace. Plan things out one step at a time and don’t be afraid to say no if something is too far outside of your comfort zone.
We are creatures of habit, and routines are a great way to feel more in control. In order to ease back into life after lockdown, try to re-establish part of your own routine as something familiar that could help reduce your anxiety. This is also a great opportunity to adapt an old routine to incorporate any good habits that you might have worked on in lockdown. Perhaps you took up yoga in lieu of a commute, or found a passion for cooking. Bringing the positives of lockdown into a familiar routine will help ease anxiety and set you up with even better habits going forward.
With things picking up again, you might find yourself out and about more. Set routines and insulin notifications in the Quin app to help you remember to take insulin and understand what is active in your body, so you can make informed decisions quickly, and get back to enjoying your time.
Challenging your thoughts and perceptions can be a great way to take some control and see things in a new light. Look for any positives that might have come from the pandemic to get excited about. Perhaps flexible working was not an option before, or you’re closer to your neighbours since going into lockdown, or you’ve learned a new skill/taken up a new hobby. Pick some things you’d like to take forward and begin to create routines around them, that way, you’ll feel more excited and in control going forward. The pandemic has given us an opportunity to re-evaluate and by seeing the opportunities that might come out of the pandemic, like maintaining hobbies, habits and good routines, you’ll feel more in control and be able to replace feelings of fear and anxiety with excitement and confidence.
Remember everyone is different
There is no right way to feel about the easing of lockdown measures, and reopening anxiety is a perfectly normal way to feel. There is no right way to deal with it. Various things will trigger anxiety for different people, and it may vary day to day. That is ok. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. The government may have said social distancing and mask wearing is no longer required, but if you are more comfortable keeping a distance and wearing a mask, do so for as long as you need. Take things slow and celebrate the little wins. You can do this.
At Quin, we approach diabetes management knowing no two people are the same. Which is why our app learns about you with each use, so you can make more informed diabetes decisions, faster. If you’re looking to establish a new routine, try Quin free today.We know you have to manage diabetes yourself, but you don’t have to do it alone.