Simple yet effective ways to deal with the anxiety of post-lockdown living

28th May 2021

After more than one year of lockdown, it looks as though the government’s road map to take us to a new post-Covid normal means all restrictions could be lifted during the summer.

You may be one of those looking forward to returning to your old way of life as it was before the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, or you may have reservations about returning to normal living.

Maybe you have reassessed your life and now want to retire earlier, or maybe later, than you originally planned?

If you have reservations about resuming your normal lifestyle or have changed your life aspirations, read on to discover some simple yet effective insights that could help.

Be a conscientious “hugger”

Following the government’s decision to allow you to hug friends and family, you may still be apprehensive about doing so.

Even the government’s call to only give a “cautious cuddle” might still make you nervous, and if it does, an article by the BBC could help.

In it, Professor Cath Noakes – a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) Committee, which advises the government – explains the move should not be seen as a green light to hug everyone every time you see them.

She says hugs should be restricted “to very small numbers of close family” who would really value one.

“Don’t hug too frequently, keep it short, try and avoid being face to face, so perhaps turn your face away slightly, and even wearing a mask could help,” she told the BBC.

Pick your holiday destination carefully and remain vigilant

Hotels in England are again open for business, and you can jet off abroad for your holidays.

Even if you are eager to feel the sun on your face in warmer climates, you may still be concerned about travelling so close to the restrictions being eased.

That’s why the government has introduced its traffic light system, which will categorise countries according to their risk. This is based on the vaccination rates, the prevalence of Covid and the variants of coronavirus in the country.

Ensuring you holiday in a country on the green list, while taking as much care as possible while you are away, could help minimise the risk of going abroad. For example, avoiding crowded venues and continuing to wear a face mask in confined spaces could provide an extra level of protection.

If you visit a country on the green list, you will need to provide a negative Covid test within 72 hours of departure and have a test on or before your second day back in the UK.

You will learn how to socialise in the post-lockdown world

While you may be looking forward to getting out with friends and socialising after the planned lifting of lockdown on 21 June, an article by the Guardian explains why you may also feel some anxiety.

It explains that as everyone in the UK has been stopped from going out and meeting friends face to face, you may be feeling anxious as you’re out of practice.

In addition to that, in the post-Covid world, there will be new “social norms” to get used to, such as knowing who will feel comfortable with a hug, and who won’t. Taking things slowly and remaining cautious to ensure you can maintain an appropriate distance that you and others are comfortable with could help.

Build your confidence gradually and don’t rush out into social groups straight away. One way to do this would be to meet friends and family for walks or coffee, before meeting in larger groups.

Most important of all, the Guardian adds, is to remember you can’t lose your social skills.

“We acquire most of our social skills between the ages of zero and seven,” clinical psychologist Linda Blair told the newspaper.

“Sometimes they’re hard to get at and we have to dig way down, but they’re there.”

If you have changed your retirement plans, make sure you are properly prepared

Perhaps being in lockdown has made you realise you want to retire earlier – or, indeed, later.

If you feel you want to start retirement earlier, to spend more time with loved ones and enjoy more leisure time, peace of mind will be essential. Speaking with a financial professional could help ensure your financial retirement strategy is sustainable in the long term, providing you with the confidence to live the way you want, safe in the knowledge you are financially secure.

Perhaps though, you are thinking of retiring later. This offers the advantage of allowing you to build your retirement fund, which could provide a higher income when you do decide to retire.

If your pension will provide the lifestyle you want in retirement, and you would still prefer to work because you enjoy it, it’s worth remembering your pension could be an effective way of passing your wealth on to loved ones.

As a pension is outside of your estate, continuing to build it so there will be potentially more of it to pass on to your family may be an interesting consideration. Remember though, pensions are complicated, so ensure you speak to a financial planner before taking any action.

If part of your strategy is to reduce your working hours and enjoy semi-retirement, speak with a financial planner first, as doing so could carry little-known tax implications.

Get in touch

At this uncertain time, if you have made changes to your financial goals, or would like to discuss how Covid and the lockdown may have impacted your wealth, email us at info@harperlees.co.uk or call on 01277 350560.

Please note

A pension is a long-term investment. The fund value may fluctuate and can go down, which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Your pension income could also be affected by the interest rates at the time you take your benefits.

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