Top tips to overcome anxiety as Covid restrictions ease

Most of Scotland’s remaining coronavirus restrictions will be lifted on Monday.

By Jenness Mitchell & Daryn MacRae

Most of Scotland’s remaining coronavirus restrictions will be lifted on Monday.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the move “beyond level zero” has been made possible thanks to the “steady decline” in Covid cases and the “success of vaccination”.

While mask wearing will remain for “some time to come”, other legally imposed restrictions, including those on physical distancing and limits to the size of social gatherings, will be scrapped.

However, events with more than 2000 people indoors, or more than 5000 outside, will need to apply for permission before they can take place.

No venues will be legally required to be closed, which will allow nightclubs to reopen their doors for the first time since March 2020.

While many Scots will be over the moon with the latest easing of restrictions, others may quite understandably feel anxious – especially as the First Minister did warn that Monday “does not signal the end of the pandemic or a return to life exactly as we knew it before Covid struck”.

Ahead of the restrictions lifting, STV News spoke to counselling psychologist Dr Rachel Allan, who shared her top five tips to help overcome anxiety as the fight against coronavirus continues.

Dr Rachel Allan’s top tips to overcome anxiety

  1. First of all, recognise those feelings, allow them to be there and don’t try to fight them.
  2. Secondly, don’t wait for anxiety to be gone before you try and get out of your comfort zone a little bit. Because if you wait for that, you risk getting stuck where you are.
  3. Third, set yourself realistic and manageable goals so that you can do a little bit, set yourself up to succeed, manage that, build confidence and do a little bit more, and build that way gradually.
  4. Four, if you’re in a situation and you’re feeling really overwhelmed, the best thing you can do is pause for a moment and breathe deeply – in and out a number of times – and that will just give your brain the message that you’re safe and help you reset and carry on.
  5. Finally, number five, if you’re really struggling, ask for help. Make the people around you, your family, maybe your co-workers, make them aware that you’re feeling a bit apprehensive or that you’re struggling and ask them for the support you need to help you build that back up over time.
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