Tackling freedom day (19 July) anxiety

Next Monday (19 July) is the big day everyone seems to be anticipating – freedom day, the day we get to go ‘back to some kind of normal’.

We’ve spent such a long time hearing about the genuine dangers of meeting in person; it’s perfectly understandable to feel anxious or uncertain about spending time with other people, even if we’re doing so in line with the current guidelines. Especially because the pandemic hasn’t ended, we are still very much trying to live with COVID-19.

Here are some of our top tips for coping with freedom day anxiety if you don’t want to ditch social distancing and mask-wearing just yet…

Have an honest conversation with your friends and family

Try to have open conversations about where you’re at. This should make it clear to your loved ones that your decision isn’t about whether or not you want to see them, but whether or not you, personally, feel safe to do so.

Make a list of what you’re happy to do (and what you’re not)

This might take into account things like your general health, whether or not you (and your household) are fully vaccinated, your work situation, and the pattern of COVID cases in your area. This should help you work out what you’re ready for, and what might help you be ready for more. Perhaps you’re ready to socialise in a friend’s house, but only if everyone there has a recent negative test. Whatever makes you feel safe!

Be kind to yourself

 One of the worst parts of anxiety is that it persuades us we’re the only one who’s struggling, and makes us afraid to reach out because we think other people will judge us. We are still in a pandemic and it’s completely normal to feel worried about a threat that does still exist, so give yourself a break!

Remember, it’s OK to go at your own pace, and don’t feel the pressure to do anything you’re not comfortable with.

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