Although many of us will be pleased to see lockdown restrictions starting to be lifted, going back outside again may make us feel anxious. Age UK has put together this guide to help.

I'm feeling anxious about lockdown easing...

You may be worried about contracting or spreading the virus and unsure about the rules. You may feel worried about loved ones or angry if other people don't seem to be following the guidelines. You may feel unmotivated to go out or socialise, no matter how much you've missed people. There is no right or wrong way to be dealing with this situation and it's important to go at your own pace.

Things you can do to help yourself:

> Go at your own pace. The first few times you go outside might make you feel anxious. Manage this by taking small steps.

> Explore different techniques to manage your anxiety. You might find it calming to listen to podcasts, music or audiobooks when you go out, or try breathing exercises or meditation to help calm you.

> Reach out. Talk to people you trust about how you are feeling and find out how others are managing their concerns.

> Worried about returning to work? Talk to your manager to see if any adjustments could be made to help.

I'm struggling to fully understand the new guidelines ...

Although new guidelines such as social distancing and face coverings, are in place to keep us safe, they can make going out more daunting. For some, such as people living with dementia, sight loss, or a mental health condition, following the guidelines might be difficult and you may be worried about doing it wrong or how others will respond.

Think in advance about how to communicate why you can't follow the guidance. If you find it hard to socially distance, you can download  'give me space' badge. If you're unable to wear a face covering, download or print off the exemption care. Download both at: www.gov.uk/government/publications

I'm concerned about local infection rates rising again ...

If infection rates start to rise then local lockdowns may be put in place.Keep up to date on restrictions in your area by following local news outlets and checking the government website: www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do

For more information and support contact Age UK North Tyneside on 0191 280 8484