Tips & Tricks to Manage Anxiety around Dating Post-Lockdown
by Leah Learwood, 2nd June 2021
How are you feeling about dating again post-lockdown? Ecstatic, pretty nervous or somewhere in the middle?
We teamed up with Bumble app during Mental Health Week to help women manage their Re-entry anxiety around dating - check out our tips below.
Re-entry anxiety is the stress related to the fear of being unable to adapt to pre-pandemic routines. Basically, feeling worried about doing things that used to feel safe. Responses will vary from person to person. This is perfectly normal. It’s OK to feel uncertain and nervous, the pandemic and all its layers has been a big thing we’ve faced collectively. Rest assured, there are ways you can overcome these feelings.
How Can I Manage My Feelings?
Practise mindful moments: The body keeps the score. When you think about dating again, where do you feel it? Nervous, fluttering tummy? Excited, buzzing head? Start noticing, show some kindness to those feelings, and sit with them if you can. Remember, anxious feelings are natural. This is more mindfulness-based so you might feel this isn’t the best fit.
Make the first move, set the first boundary: Reflect on what you need from your new post-lockdown dates and be open with them about what would make you feel comfortable. Only do things in your comfort zone. Seek out apps like Bumble, which allow you to make the fisrt move.
Reimagine your experience: Visualise how you’d like your date to go, include the location and all the detail. Focus on what you can influence: your responses rather than the other person e.g. you feeling confident, calm, at ease. Repeat this every night before you go to bed.
Download thoughts into a journal: Try journaling for 10 minutes every day about how you’re feeling about dating again, what it means to you, the pluses and minuses, and your hopes.
Managing nerves: If you feel nervous on a date, focus more on what they are saying rather than thinking about what to say next.
Managing worries: What’s worrying you about dating? Make a list on the left-hand side of the page. On the right, make a list of the things that would help you to feel more at ease about your worries.
Seek professional support if needed. If your anxiety or stress is impacting your daily life, you may wish to speak to a professional therapist. They can help you explore your feelings and support you to find a way to cope.
Our mental health and wellbeing can impact how we connect with others and how our relationships develop. How has your mental health been around dating recently? What factors have impacted how you feel about dating during the pandemic? It’s OK to feel uncertain and nervous. Let’s just take a moment to acknowledge that the pandemic has been a big thing we’ve faced collectively. Know that you’re not alone.
How to Set Boundaries with People you Date Post-Lockdown
#1 Make a List of all of the things that would make you feel safe
#2 Before you meet, be open and clear on what you feel comfortable with
#3 If your date doesn’t respect your boundaries, gently pull them up on it. Repeat #2.
#4 If they aren’t able to meet your needs, they might not be the best match.
#5 Always stick to what feels right for you.
You can also try Clementine’s 'Learn to say no' session in 'Pick-me-ups'
Want to learn a super easy hack to feel chilled as, on a date? Here are 5 steps to help you anchor a calm place in your mind!
#1 Find a quiet spot. Spend 10 mins doing some relaxation (Clementine have some nifty sessions you can try)
#2 Then imagine a relaxing and calm place special to you e.g. beach, woods etc
#3 Really go there. When you’re in the zone, anchor it by pressing your thumb and fore finger together for around 20 seconds or more – this is your chill out button!
#4 Repeat this daily for a week before your date. The more you anchor it, the more effective your Dating Dial will be
#5 During your date, if you feel anxious, fire off your Chill-Out Dating Dial (in your pocket or under the table) and it will take you to your calm place!
#6 Enjoy the rush of calm!
You can also try Clementine’s 'Boost your self confidence' session on their app for an amazing hypnotherapy uplift.