Psychologist shares tips for returning to normal life after Covid-19 lockdown

As life seems to be returning to some sort of normal, the Covid-19 lockdown has left its mark on everyone.

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Some anxiety is natural, but you need to make sure it's not interfering with your life, Jacqui Maguire told Breakfast. Source: Breakfast

It's natural to feel some anxiety about getting back to your regular life, but people should be careful it's not interfering with their life, a psychologist says.

"Some level of anxiety is helpful ... it keeps us alert, it keeps us on," psychologist Jacqui Maguire told TVNZ 1's Breakfast.

"If your anxiety's got to the point where it's messing with you, it's getting in the way of doing the things you need to do, that's when you might need to do some work."

She recommends people take time to think about how they're feeling each day and check in with themselves.

"We live in a life where you're not very present," she says, adding that Kiwis in particular tend to have trouble recognising and embracing their emotions.

"You have to start getting good at checking in with yourself."

Things like stickers around your house, or a reminder or your phone, can trigger you to start thinking about how you're feeling.

"What's my thoughts - one to 10, how anxious am I feeling?" Ms Maguire says.

"Become more aware of thoughts and emotions and part of your daily presence, rather than walking around and not knowing what you're thinking and feeling."

One way of getting back to your normal life is taking it slow.

You can start off by going for a short walk, before driving in to work for a half day, then a full day, if you're feeling anxious, rather than taking public transport to work, Ms Maguire says.

"Gradually step back up to your regular world."