The ending of lockdown restrictions has been widely celebrated, particularly in relation to sport. It means fans back in venues cheering on their heroes. It will mean closer contact with friends and teammates. It will mean a welcome return to the world we once knew before this invisible attacker changed everything.
However, just as the change that COVID-19 enforced upon sport and our lives in general, we will again have to adjust to life after lockdown. And change is never easy. Other invisible challenges may be plotting an invasion.
Some people, including sportspeople, will suffer or may already be suffering from what has been termed as ‘post-lockdown anxiety’.
Sporting Chance’s clinical lead, Craig Dexter, describes anxiety as: “An emotion characterised by feelings of fear and tension, worried thoughts and physical changes such as increased blood pressure, sweating and fatigue.
“Anxiety is an unpleasant state of inner turmoil, often accompanied by feelings of dread. The true nature of anxiety is fear, which is one of the most common natural emotions.”
It is completely understandable that some people will experience various levels of anxiety in relation to the easing of lockdown restrictions.
For sportspeople, there may have been some unspoken positives during this difficult period. For example, an absence of fans may have reduced performance-related anxiety, pressure, and increased a feeling of safety.
It is therefore logical to suggest that each step towards ‘normality’ may bring with it new challenges that manifest in feelings of anxiety. This is natural, understandable and should not be confused with mental and emotional resilience.
Sporting Chance provides professional therapeutic support to current and retired professional sports people for any mental or emotional health concern, including anxiety.
Professional sportspeople may feel conflicted about the return of fans and easing of other restrictions that were put in place to keep themselves and their families safe throughout the worst of a global pandemic.
We provide a safe, confidential environment for them to talk through their concerns and the impact they may be having on them mentally and emotionally.