Lockdown has been a roller coaster for many of us, one woman has told how she feels lethargic about everything from relationships to her job and house. Here she asks agony aunt Coleen Nolan for help
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I’m a single woman in my 30s and haven’t coped with lockdown. Well, when I say I haven’t coped, I have, but maybe too well. I haven’t reached out much to friends and family, and have been like a hermit over the past few months.
I feel lethargic about everything – relationships, my job, my house. People contact me all the time, but I’m slow to reply or I don’t bother at all. I suppose being single for a while, I’ve just come to rely on myself and now I feel quite anxious about being out in the world again.
During lockdown I also got into lots of bad habits, which worries me – smoking, drinking too much coffee, drinking too much wine, eating bad food. I’ve started focusing on that stuff, which means I’m not doing much else.
How can I get some zest for life back and start planning things and looking to the future? I don’t know how I got myself into this state of mind where I don’t care much about anything and have very little enthusiasm.
Is this behaviour weird and have you any ideas about ways to feel better?
No, I don’t think it’s weird. We’ve been dropped into a very surreal situation over the past few months and I think lots of people are having similar feelings. It’s like you’ve gone into your bunker, shut out the world and gone into self-preservation mode.
I’d start by tackling the habits you’ve got into during lockdown and trying to break those. That’ll give you something to focus on. Don’t overwhelm yourself – start with small goals: cut down to one coffee a day, go out for a walk, have days where you don’t drink alcohol, make a phone call to a friend and ease yourself back into ‘reality’.
Life is still going on, just not as we know it. It’s an adjustment for everyone and you have to go at your own pace. I think once you feel healthier and have more energy, you’ll feel better mentally.
Speaking (generally), I think people have fallen into two categories during lockdown. There have been those who’ve tackled things with gusto and taken on new hobbies or projects – yoga, baking, cycling, you name it – and those who’ve retreated a bit into their shell.
But don’t cut yourself off from people – be open to seeing family and friends as this is vital for mental health.