This is a collaborative post.
It’s been a weird couple of months! Before March, nobody would have guessed how the world would be spending Christmas. Now, it seems to be a forgone conclusion that restrictions will canter on into the New Year and beyond. But what are the signs of lockdown anxiety?
On the face of it, you haven’t been too bothered by the pandemic. Sure, you were engrossed by every tiny detail in April, yet now you’ve become used to lockdown life. Anxiety? What anxiety?! However, growing accustomed to life in self-isolation is one sign that you’re anxious, and that the emotions could continue.
The indicators aren’t always in your face. They can be subtle, as these telltale pointers highlight.
If you have tummy trouble, you’ll assume it’s down to something you ate. People even mark it as “one of those things,” and move on with life without a second thought. Unfortunately, a bad or irritable belly is a sign of anxiety because when the bacteria and neurons in the gut are out of sync, the stomach sends signals to the brain to relay the message. The organs overcompensate, leading to ailments such as constipation, diarrhoea, or an irritable bowel. The stomach plays a considerable role in physical and mental health, which is why you should always listen to your gut.
Like tummy trouble, insufficient sleep is something you can pass off a million different things. It could be that you went to bed later or had a nap during the day. The last thing you think is anxiety, yet it depends on the circumstances behind your inability to drift off. When you consider how to sleep better, you must find a way to wind down properly, or else the negative thoughts will play on your mind. A lack of sleep, or waking up during the night, are indicators the constant news spiral is getting to you more than you recognise.
You have to avoid people. You’re locked down! Of course, the lockdown is something everyone has become used to, but it’s by no means the norm, and it isn’t very healthy. A way to tell if you’re indulging in self-isolation too much is to gauge whether you’re avoiding people or embracing them. Not phoning friends or family members will lead to a disconnect in your relationships while picking up bad habits now could impact your socialising skills once society returns to normal. Only you know whether you’re avoiding people, or if you feel a pit in your stomach regarding virtual and physical interaction.
You’re Acting Disinterested (But You’re Not)
Millions of people are acting as if they are keeping calm and carrying on because it’s the right thing to do or the only thing to do. Still, even if this is true, it doesn’t mean you are as aloof to the situation as you like to say. What appears to many as disinterest is you taking stock of the problem and retreating into your shell as you’re uncomfortable.
You must be truthful with yourself if you want to negate your feelings. Are you dealing with the signs of lockdown anxiety?