On April 12th 2021 everything changed. Or, as one friend said to me via voicenote a few days afterwards: “We were all on a level playing field and well… now we’re not.”
Two weeks ago lockdown restrictions were eased in England and suddenly life felt a bit more recognisable to the one we used to exist in before the pandemic hit. We could go out for drinks with mates (if we stayed outside) and we could shop in actual real-life shops that weren’t just the supermarket. We could get haircuts and manicures and our brows done and work-out at the gym. We could visit zoos, drive further than the local park to meet up with loved ones, and heck, if we wanted to we could even book a staycation.
We had plenty of notice that things were going to change, too. Boris Johnson announced the details for his roadmap out of lockdown back in February – starting with schools going back and the ability to sit outside with another household from March.
So why then, did April’s shift in the day-to-day options available to us feel, well… almost overwhelming? And why, did suddenly seeing everyone else living what can only be described as ‘their best lives’ over on social media suddenly fill us with an unexpected huge crashing wave of FOMO (or, Fear Of Missing Out)?
Dr Lafina Diamandis, who is a GP, lifestyle doctor & founder of Deia Health, has some of the answers. She says: “Return anxiety is real. From resistance around returning to a fast-paced life to the social pressures felt around appearance (particularly by women), many people are actually dreading the return to normality. Mild social anxiety is also emerging as we face re-connecting with friends, family and colleagues again. It’s important to remember that this is a completely normal reaction to living under restricted social conditions for over a year and that just as it took some time to adapt to lockdown conditions, we will need some time to adapt back to a normal way of life.” Continue reading article here
Words: Hannah Gale