Fear of Freedom Day

While many are celebrating the removing of almost all restrictions today, which has been given the nickname ‘Freedom Day’; not everyone is celebrating. Its a positive step for some, but for others its a day of increased risk, fear and anxiety. For parents that have a child with a long term illness, especially those that are immune supressed, instead of rejoicing, its bringing a feeling of dread.

You and your child may have mixed and difficult feelings, be worried and anxious for reasons you may not fully understand. This is perfectly normal. Even if your child is not immune supressed, its natural for them to feel anxiety about going back to ‘normal’ after months and months of isolation. There are many reasons for feeling anxiety today, and there are some ways we can help you to feel less worried and continue as safe as possible.

Firstly, although restrictions on face coverings have been eased, it doesn’t mean that you cannot wear one, in fact the government is still encouraging the wearing of masks in busy, confined places such as on public transport. It is also perfectly fine for your or your child to continue to wear a face covering when leaving home and venturing to school, college or other activities outside the house. Not only are you helping to protect others, you are reducing the risk of transmission of the disease.

Next it to recognise that your anxieties are valid and you do not need to explain yourself to others. You also do not need to say ‘Yes!’ to everything. Its perfectly acceptable to say no invitations to parties and events. You remain in control and you are free to take things at a pace you feel comfortable with. Set your own boundaries and you do not need to go at the same pace as other people. Another way keeping control and reducing risk is to continue to meet friends and family members in public places, or even your garden will help to reduce the risk of transmission, rather than meeting people inside.

Be kind to yourself, don’t feel stressed because you are doing things at a different pace to others. If you feel anxiety, try CBT or grounding techniques to help you to relax. The most common grounding technique is 5 Things:

    • Name 5 things you can see
    • Name 4 things you can hear
    • Three things you can feel
    • Two things you can smell
    • One thing you can taste.

Finally don’t forget that we are here to help at Yorkshire Children’s Trust. We have a range of support options to help support the mental health of your child through these difficult times, from play therapy and CBT to counselling. Please visit the support options on our menu to see how we can help support you and your family and if you have any questions you can drop us a message or call one of our friendly team on 01422 728080.