As I began to investigate why I felt this way, I discovered I wasn’t the only one. People were tentatively taking to social media to admit they felt like they had a chance to switch off for the first time during lockdown.
People were finding clarity in stress, and it’s a feeling I’ve never had before. As soon as the “new normal” emerged, I assumed these anxious feelings that permeated my days would return. As of yet, they haven’t.
“We’ve all established new habits,” psychologist and spokesperson for the British Psychological Society, Linda Blair, explains.
“It takes three to six weeks to make a new habit and another six weeks to firm it up. So, three months into lockdown, people’s new habits were firmly established.”
Habits, for some, might be as small as a slightly later alarm in the morning, but for others – myself included – it could be a series of now established behaviours that have left us feeling less anxious.
While anxiety might seem like a solid wall, in fact, it is developed by many strands – strands that some of us started to tug at during lockdown.
The strands that led to my cortisol levels rising involved working too much and spreading myself too thinly. Lockdown offered me the chance to sit back and analyse myself, whereas previously – without time to sit and think – I just saw my anxiousness as one impenetrable wall.
If you, like me, are one of the “lucky ones” who was able to find clarity during this dreadful period, you might feel concerned that the feeling might disappear when life eventually returns to normal (although new restrictions could be imposed again soon).