It was the moment everyone was waiting for. The announcement that restrictions were being lifted. Finally we can all go back to pubs, clubs, restaurants and theatres. We can socialise with large groups of friends and give our families as many hugs as we like. We're free!!
Not so for some people though.
Just because the man on the TV says you can go about your business it doesn't mean you're ready to do it. Have you walked around supermarkets that leave mask wearing up to your discretion and noticed that plenty of people still opt to wear one? These people may still be unsure about how they feel.
For a sufferer of anxiety, uncertainty can be the biggest enemy. Is it safe to go out? Should I wear a mask? What will people think of me if I wear a mask in the shop? What will they think if I don't? Am I ready to meet friends in large groups or enclosed indoor spaces? Will they hate me if I keep saying no to getting together? What's going on with my job? Do I have to go back to the office? Will I be laid off I don't?
This is enough to test the most mentally strong person so try to imagine all these thoughts and more going around in your head if you already suffer with anxiety.
This is not the time to think that everything is fine and everyone is ok. If you found yourself being more understanding, tolerant, patient or compassionate during lockdown then keep that going. You need to be aware that people will still be struggling along in silence, hiding their true feelings away from the world. They are excellent at it so never assume a person is ok just because they said so.
And for all you people struggling with your anxiety, please try to share things with someone. It could be a trusted friend or family member or even a counsellor. As long as you don't keep it all inside then there is more reason to be optimistic that things can get better for you.
Anxiety can lead to all sorts of mental and physical problems so please don't ignore it.
If you want to explore the counselling route then visit www.beyourselfcounselling.co.uk