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Human Performance Blog

The LockDown Effect

The last, few months have been spent in isolation, staying a safe distance from friends, family and loved ones. Pretty much avoiding human contact, which has been both a lonely and learning experience for many. With the conversation shifting to relaxed measures, many people are primed and eager to get back 'on the outside'.

There is however, a secret fraternity and sorority of men and women that aren't as excited.

Going outside, immersing in the New Normal, engaging with others after months of being told not to makes them feel a bit anxious, nervous, and worried when they consider the idea of going back out to work, school or simply into the world.

NOTE: This is an important consideration for children and the elderly, who may not have understood what is happening or been at a greater risk.

After about 21 days of a consistent behavior, a Habit is formed. The habit that we have been conditioned for, as a result of the self isolation/lockdown is to Fear The Outside!

The 'fear of the outside' can be used loosely to describe Agoraphobia, which is the fear and/or avoidance of places or situations that occur when the environment is perceived to be unsafe. A phobia can take control by encouraging the avoidance of places or situations that incite the Fear/Anxiety Response, making it difficult or impossible to perform day to day activities.

A mild case of phobia might feel like nervousness or anxiousness while severe cases, might result in panic attacks, feeling trapped, helpless or embarrassed.

Whether mild or severe, we will all experience a version of emotional, mental and physical symptoms associated with what we will affectionately call, the After Lock Down Effect.

As measures continue to relax, feeling hesitant, fearful or asking the question, 'Is it really ok?' can be paralyzing. Having little to no desire to go out into the world when given the green light, doesn't mean that you have miraculously turned into an introvert.

You may be experiencing symptoms of The After Lock Down Effect.

How would a High Performer face the After Lock Down Effect?

The Fear/Anxiety Response, is one that is experienced quite often. Preparing for a presentation (in front of crowds), an important meeting or competition can all inspire levels of the fear/anxiety response. The High Performance Approach to dealing with this response, is called Regulation. It is a two-pronged approach where there is an emphasis on awareness of thoughts and management of physical responses. This is achieved by employing stress management and relaxation techniques which serve to help reduce and eliminate the fear and anxiety responses.

Navigating your response to the After Lock Down Effect can be confusing, or you might not be sure how or if it is affecting you. Join the Mental Sustainability Webinar to get more insight into how you can navigate this and other Post-COVID challenges.

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Have questions about this blog? Check in with Dr.V


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