There is no doubt the coronavirus lockdown has enabled people to hit the pause button on their hectic lives and strip back to the basics.

It is a new way of life that we have quickly become accustomed to, allowing us to spend more time with our immediate family, appreciate where we live and unite, not only with our neighbours, but as a nation for the Thursday night Clap for Carers.

However, for people with mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, being isolated from family and friends, a change of routine and having to stay at home, may have had a detrimental impact. As lockdown regulations are slowly being lifted, some people may be anxious about returning to the ‘new normal’ after adjusting to their temporary lockdown lifestyle.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed about what is to come, here are some helpful tips to assist you in the transition:

  • Manage your expectations. Don’t feel you need to make all of the changes at once.
  • Instead, take your time adjusting. Start by forming a simple-structured routine and begin a phased return to ‘normal life’.
  • While the world has been in lockdown, nature and the oceans have had time to breathe and recover, with air pollution dramatically reducing over the last three months. Take time out of your day to continue appreciating some of the environmental benefits that have resulted from the earth’s time-out.
  • If you’re feeling anxious about returning to work, socialising with friends or using public transport, implementing positive visualisation and breathing techniques before going out can help you to take control of the brain’s automatic protective response.
  • Lockdown has given us the opportunity to invest more time in communicating with family and friends, whether that’s in person or virtually. If you’re feeling apprehensive about the transition, make sure you maintain communication with your loved ones and let them know how you are feeling.

If you are struggling with your mental health and feel there is no one else to talk to, the following helplines are available:

Samaritans: 116 123. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to talk about anything that is upsetting you.

Mind: 0300 123 3393. Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm –