Coping with Stress and Addiction During the Pandemic
During these challenging times, every third person is dealing with mental health issues like anxiety, depression and stress, which are triggers for relapse for people in recovery. Changing precautionary measure and constant news feeds about the Covid-19 pandemic, isolation and inner turmoil during seem impossible to master. In addition to individuals suffering from mental health or addiction issues, even people who were functioning normally during regular times are feeling the pressure. People are using social media and even turning to pornography to deal with stress, anxiety and loneliness.
The COVID-19 crisis appears to be be spiralling out of control with every passing day. But it is important to realize that getting stressed and anxious will not make the situation any better. One has to incorporate a few lifestyle changes to add structure to dismantled routines that have become the new normal. It will also help to cope with mental health issues that crop up and avoid relapse triggers.
- Develop an everyday routine
Routine delivers normalcy and adds a sense of purpose and meaning to everyday living. While it is tempting to let schedules remain scattered and chaotic during this pandemic, it does make you feel disoriented and lost. Creating a well-defined daily routine can help you take control of your actions and make sure you meet your goals on time without falling prey to the infinite triggers that come uninvited throughout the day.
- Keep yourself engaged
Staying secluded within four walls surely stimulates negative memories and causes you to relive and regret negative things that happened in your life. When you find yourself falling into a web of endless contemplation, you need to distract yourself before it consumes your entire day. Maybe you could read the book that has been gathering dust on your book shelf, or maybe you could also learn a new language or try your hand at painting. Overcoming stress sometimes requires you to indulge in activities that require focus and creativity. And a little bit of fun too!
- Stay connected
While people have to stay apart in the current scenario, technology can be extremely handy to stay connected with loved ones. Depriving yourself of the warmth of relationships during this pandemic is only going to accelerate the feelings of loneliness in unexpected ways. When isolation hurts, reach out to a friend or loved one.
- Ditch the screen
All of us have been conditioned to check the phone the minute the screen lights up with a new notification! It is hard to ignore the phone and putting it away is a difficult task. During the current pandemic, news feeds constantly deliver bad news about the spread of the epidemic. Although it is not easy, staying “technology free” for a certain period of time every day will help in overcoming stress and focusing on what is important.
While it is a good thing to keep yourself on the loop with all the current happenings, hitting the stop button for a fixed period of time will serve to reduce anxiety and stress.
- Seek help
Anecdotal evidence suggests alcohol use has surged and relapse rates have spiked during the pandemic, as a way of coping with stress.
When you find yourself coping with loneliness, stress, anxiety and depression by abusing alcohol or drugs, it is time to seek professional help from a reputed addiction treatment facility in New Jersey. Addiction treatment professionals can help you to recognize the underlying issues causing you to abuse substances or alcohol. But it is up to you to reach out to the right programs and avail of Addiction Treatment in New Jersey. Many programs are effective and provide medically monitored detoxification services.
- Love yourself everyday
You are the most important person in the world to yourself! Always remember that. You need to stay nourished, physically, mentally and emotionally. Overcoming stress will become easier if you focus on loving yourself.
Stock up your kitchen with nourishing fruits, vegetables and healthy snacks. It will help build immunity and fill your mind and soul with positive energy.
Surround yourself with positive people who uplift you. It is indeed hard to stay in touch with anyone during the pandemic. But make an effort to have a core set up of positive people who you touch base with often. One of them could be your AA/NA sponsor. If you have one.
Have an exercise routine you can follow inside your home. Maybe partner with like-minded people and all of you can exercise together over a Zoom call!
- Reach out for help
The loneliness the pandemic has brought has felled many a strong person. Recognize that you are not super human and do not expect perfection from yourself. The loneliness and isolation caused by the pandemic can trigger a relapse even in the strongest of people.
If you have a slip-up, do not beat yourself up. Seek professional help at the earliest and do not let the issue fester and intensify. Many people feel stigmatized by addiction and are generally more resistant to seek treatment in an inpatient setting. Luckily, addiction treatment has evolved over the past several years and now all addiction treatment, including detoxification for alcohol, benzos and opiates, is available in an outpatient setting. Please go to RecoveryCNT.com to learn more about treatment options.