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Feeling Out Of Place, Anxious and Overwhelmed

Returning to 'civilization' has been challenging.

I feel I have entered a world I don't understand and am really unsure of the 'rules' or how things work. I suspect I am not alone in this.

Being in remote locations in Wales for the past 5 months has meant the only time I needed to wear a face-covering was on a weekly supermarket shop (and that was not mandatory). Today, I had my first experience of a conversation wearing a face covering.

A visit to the vet, which is always stressful for Murdock, had a whole new layer of complexity added. Waiting in the car to be called, hand sanitiser and face coverings on entering the building. I found the experience of speaking with the vet when all I could see were her eyes, really challenging. I felt so uncomfortable wearing my mask, it felt like such a barrier to connection and clear communication, although I do accept the need for protection. For Murdock, on top of his usual anxiety of the consulting room, these extra precautions meant it wasn't surprising he was particularly fractious and uncooperative.

I came away from the experience feeling really emotional and on the verge of tears. It felt so alien and laden with stress, for all involved.

I have been so fortunate to have not had to deal with this until now and my experience today has made me so much more appreciative of the level of stress and anxiety so many people are experiencing, and have been for many months, as life is so changed from what was normal just a short time ago.

Kindness and understanding will go a long way in helping everyone keep their anxiety to a minimum as we each find our way of navigating these very strange times.

How have you managed, and what have you noticed as people have begun to emerge and re-engage with the world?

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