Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 – Anxiety & The UK Opening Up

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, I wasn’t sure if I was going to write posts this week because of the awful migraine I’ve been living with for the past two days so looking at a screen for much more than work hasn’t been great. I’ve spoken a lot about my mental health in the past few years and I’m pretty open about it, recently I posted on Twitter that I was struggling a little as things started to reopen here in the UK. So, I thought I’d talk about it because for those in the UK at least it’s pretty relevant.

Of course I’m excited to see businesses open up again, not have to worry about eating in the cold or the rain and being able to just pop into a coffee shop for my lunch break but I’m nervous too. I don’t know about you but I kind of feel like I’ve forgotten how to be a human. Seeing groups of people, even groups of friends, makes me feel uneasy – something I felt before the pandemic but it’s definitely got worse since.

When I go out now I feel nervous when people get too close to me, I use sanitiser when going inside and on the way out of a shop and certain shops I just avoid all together because people just don’t know how to give each other space, my local Primark is particularly bad for this.

I feel like there’s going to be step by step progress when it comes to being comfortable again and I know I’m not the only one. There are so many people I’ve spoken to who aren’t doing cartwheels at the thought of people mixing as they were. I’m also absolutely dreading handshakes, I didn’t like them before and now I know the thought of shaking another persona hand and not immediately covering my hands in sanitiser fills me with dread.

There will be people in your life who need time to adjust to being around people all time time, to a lack of personal space, to the noisiness. Don’t get me wrong I’m looking forward to going for drinks with my friends in a few weeks time but I know the whole day running up to it I’ll be nervous about it, about other people in the bar etc. But we’ll get there.

How are you feeling about thinfs opening up? Excited? Nervous? Worried? Let me know in the comments below.

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