Is lockdown extending? How to stave off disappointment and find reserves of patience

People walk on the South Bank in central London
10:40am, Mon 14 Jun 2021
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In news that is as disappointing as it is unsurprising, it’s looking unlikely lockdown will be lifted in England on June 21.

So-called ‘Freedom Day’ might be put on hold for four weeks until July 19, with Boris Johnson expected to make the announcement soon.

This means all the things we were looking forward to – including the end of of social distancing rules, the return of big parties, and clubs reopening – will likely be put on hold for another month.

The potential news isn’t hugely surprising – particularly with the rapid spread of the Delta variant – but it still makes us all heave a massive sigh.

If the delay is confirmed, it’s easy to fall into a spiral of disappointment. Here’s how to dip into your reserves of patience and get through the next four weeks…

Try not to dwell on the downsides

Instead of thinking about everything you could be doing, try and break out of the negative mental cycle and focus on the positives instead. While these restrictions aren’t ideal, they’re a whole lot better than they used to be – at least you can go to the pub with friends, head to the gym or see a movie at the cinema now.

One more month might even sneakily be welcomed by some – particularly if you love working from home. You might have four weeks to enjoy the WFH life as much as possible: use these final opportunities to sunbathe in the garden or nearby park on your lunch break, and get all your washing done during the day. That’s something we’ll definitely miss when we head back to the office more permanently.

Remind yourself it’s not that long

Every time you find impatience creeping up on you, remember this potential delay might only be set at four weeks. Yes, things could change, but in the grand scheme of things, four weeks will pass in the blink of an eye – particularly compared to some of the long, major lockdowns we’ve already been through.

Be mindful

Feeling anxious, stressed or overwhelmed? Keep these feelings at bay by practicing a bit of mindfulness – whatever that means for you. Maybe you centre yourself via meditation, exercise or watching trashy reality TV – grounding yourself will help you get through the next few weeks.

If you were looking forward to Freedom Day so you can go to every club, festival and gig possible, this potential delay could be a blessing in disguise: an opportunity to really go all-in on self-care, before your social calendar becomes so jam-packed, you have no time for yourself.

Remember: it will make the ultimate release so much sweeter

They say patience is a virtue, and as frustrating as it might seem now, just think how good you’ll feel when all restrictions are finally lifted. The anticipation will be at an all-time high – and everything will be worth it when we finally do get there.

It’s also worth reminding yourself these restrictions are in place for a reason: they’re to help save lives, and rushing out of them too quickly might create more frustration and heartache further down the track.

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