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How are Covid roadmap changes impacting your mental health?

What were your expectations for the summer of 2021? A month or so back we were progressing well along with the roadmap. It seemed pretty certain that everything would be able to reopen on 21 June. So how did you feel when you heard that Freedom Day was going to be delayed? Were you relieved or disappointed or even angry?

What did the lifting of restrictions mean for you?

What plans did you make for the season?  Maybe you were looking forward to a music festival, a sports match or celebrating a significant birthday with a big party? Or reopening of the industry you work in resulting a return to work and new sense of purpose?

It’s tempting to think that lifting of restrictions will turn the clock back and things will be exactly as they were pre-pandemic. But a move out of lockdown does not guarantee happiness and emotional wellbeing.

Not everyone is ready to rush out and resume their pre-pandemic life. The thought of commuting and spending long hours in an office might now seem overwhelming and uncomfortable. A year at home may have been a relief for those with social anxiety. Being at home has meant being safe.

The roadmap is intended to balance the impact of continuing lockdown restrictions on mental wellbeing against the downturn in the economy. The impact the last year has had on our health is not something to be taken lightly. The UCL COVID-19 Social Study found that ‘anxiety and depression levels are now consistently higher than pre-pandemic averages’. 

Did you know that there is a COVID-19 mental health and wellbeing recovery action plan? As well as outlining provision for specific groups of people it also looks at how positive things that came out of lockdown, such as volunteering and a stronger sense of community, can be continued. There’s a clear call to action for people to take steps to look after their own mental health and that of those around them.

What factors can you control? 

Uncertainty feels uncomfortable. Not knowing what will come is stressful. That’s one of the reasons why the past year has been so trying on our mental health. However, unless you happen to be a government minister who has found their way to this website (hello!), the lifting of lockdown restrictions is beyond your control. What you can do to influence the progress of the pandemic is to follow guidelines and contribute to keeping the number of infections and deaths as low as possible. You can also take steps to improve your own health and happiness going forward.

What are you doing to support your emotional wellbeing?

Make use of the delay to consider how you feel and how you build your resilience to change.

What’s bothering you?

Consider what makes you feel the way you do about the changes to the road plan. What upsets you the most? Is it things changing generally or something specific?

Make a plan

Decide on some actions to take. What would make you feel like you had more options? Is it preparing healthy recipes, taking a daily walk or finding out about counselling and coaching? 

Slow down

Take the extra time to think about how you can pace yourself. Learn to focus on the moment.

Can you talk to someone about how you’re feeling?

Are you someone who keeps things to themselves? Talk to friends and family about how you are feeling and encourage them to do the same. Get involved with communities both virtual and physical. Commenting on social media and blog posts reminds us that we’re not alone and connecting with other people makes all difference. 

Did you know that comments on posts are now enabled so you can share your thoughts and experiences? And if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment but would like to tell someone how you’re feeling then drop us an email at or fill in our contact form.

So wherever we are on the roadmap there’s one question to ask yourself ‘what are you doing to look after your mental health and emotional wellbeing?’ 

Take care of yourself.

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