Helping you adjust to life after lockdown from Tandridge District Council
As teachers welcome back more children to school and non-essential shops open this week, the lockdown is slowly starting to change. Many people will feel there is a sense of normality, but for some people this time can also make them feel anxious and overwhelmed.
Lockdown has created a safe bubble for many households as they have followed government guidelines and stayed at home, only leaving their home to buy food, collect prescriptions and for exercise. The idea of now being able to be outdoors more, meeting people outside your household and visiting non-essential shops can make people nervous.
This newsletter provides guidance and support available to help you adjust to life after lockdown.
Whatever the new normal will be, given time we will all adapt and it’ll become part of our daily routine.
Go at your own pace
Starting to return to normal activities should be done at your own pace. If you have only been outside for an hour, start to lengthen the time you spend outdoors and learn to be comfortable with other people around you, while remaining at a safe distance.
Stay safe and shop local
The shops and local businesses on your local high street have put in place safety measures to keep visitors and their employees safe. These local businesses need shoppers to return to kick start the economy and help us recover from this pandemic. To find out what shops and local businesses have reopened near you, visit www.tandridge.gov.uk/backingbusiness.
Remember you may need to allow more time to do your shopping because there could be queues outside shops, take some hand sanitiser with you (although shops may have some by the door) and wash your hands when you get home. If you have to take public transport, you will need to wear a face mask and don’t go out if you’re feeling unwell.
Returning to work
If your office reopens, but you can still work from home build up your attendance slowly, perhaps working from the office once a week initially and talk to your employer about your concerns. They will be able to reassure you about the safety measures they have put in place. Many businesses are also unlikely to want all their staff back, until they have had time to make sure the new ways of office working are practical and safe.
Children returning to school
If your children are returning to school, talk to them about what’s happening and explain what is being done at school to keep them safe. Encourage them to share their feelings and anxieties with you and reassure them they will be ok
Create your new normal
The COVID-19 pandemic has also given us an opportunity to create a new normal. Instead of burning ourselves out at work and never switching off from social media, we can use the skills and routines we’ve been forced to develop as a result of the crisis to create something new.
We need to make sure the new creative hobbies, keeping in touch with friends and family and our daily exercise routines continue long after the lockdown has been lifted.
The pandemic has naturally put a strain on our mental health, but it’s also offered us the chance to evaluate what we want from our lives and take stock about what really matters. It has given us a great opportunity to change the way we live our lives which can benefit everyone, including yourself and our environment too.
Keep calm and ask for help
If you are struggling, find a comfortable place at home and spend five to ten minutes practising some breathing techniques or mindfulness to create a sense of calm.
If you feel you need some additional support to improve your health and wellbeing, our Wellbeing Prescription Service offers free advice and support to help you live a happier and healthier life. If you’re feeling lonely, worried or stressed, an appointment with the team may help. To book, visit www.wellbeingprescription.org.
For more guidance about looking after your physical and mental wellbeing and the support available, visit www.tandridge.gov.uk/wellness.
Supporting our key workers
Whatever you do as a key worker, you’re playing a hugely important role supporting so many others to go about their lives in safety. But it might feel tricky to take care of your own wellbeing.
Here is soe information about the help available for you:
- Shout provides a free 24/7 text support service for anyone who’s a key worker during the coronavirus crisis. Text KEYWORKER to 85258 to talk by text with a trained crisis volunteer.
- Samaritans are there to listen – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Key workers who are working on the frontline can call free on 116 123 to speak in confidence with a trained volunteer.
- Mental health at work supports the diverse range of people who are out working during the pandemic from rail to retail to refuse collectors. Choose your sector and it’ll show you more resources to support your mental health.
- NHS in Mind is a free platform containing easy-to-access, short interventions to help NHS staff alleviate and combat high anxiety, panic and fatigue at this time.
- Covid Calm is a free, short daily stress management clinic on Zoom, including quick mindfulness stressbusters and confidential discussions.
Frontline 19 is for doctors, nurses, auxiliary staff, paramedics, ambulance drivers, midwives, social workers, care home staff, firefighters and police officers can access emotional support, for free.
Loneliness Awareness Week
It’s Loneliness Awareness Week. It was started by the Marmalade Trust to empower people to understand loneliness one conversation at a time.
Join the conversation and find out what support and activities are available on Marmalade Trust’s website.