As lockdown and social distancing guidelines change, it would at first seem that life is getting back to a semblance of normality. However, there is still a great deal of anxiety surrounding this 'new normal' - a way of life that's familiar, yet still rather disjointed, confusing and worrisome.
Here Dr Meg Arroll, chartered psychologist on behalf of Healthspan, explores the three 'As' of coping with our ever-shifting lockdown landscape – awareness, acceptance and adjustment.
Awareness... of your strengths
Often during times of anxiety, we suffer from a 'should' or 'shouldn't' mindset. This can manifest itself in thoughts such as 'I should be able to cope with this' or 'I shouldn’t be feeling so anxious, as I’ve not been ill myself'. These negative thought patterns hamper our natural coping capacity, but we can control this type of mind game by increasing awareness of our strengths.
When experiencing anxiety, it can be difficult to identify our individual qualities, so ask your close friends and loved ones what they think your strengths are. If this feels uncomfortable, you can take an online quiz to illustrate your unique profile of character strengths (see viacharacter.org).
You can then use this information to tailor coping skills to your personality. For example, leadership and kindness may be some of your strengths, so you may want to start a community group to help others acclimatise to the new and changing lockdown guidelines. The key here is to work with your personality type, rather than against it.