Many of us never anticipated that COVID-19 would have such a serious and concrete impact on our everyday lives. Since the federal government has extended social distancing guidelines until the end of April, it can be easy to get anxious. Feeling stuck and stressed about everything can be overwhelming, which is why maintaining good mental health during the pandemic is important.
Recovery Unplugged recognizes that some populations may feel more vulnerable and anxious during this time, especially those in recovery. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also acknowledge that those who struggle with mental health conditions and substance abuse may have stronger responses to the pandemic.
During any disaster or traumatic event, everyone experiences a scope of different emotions at different levels. The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything the country has seen, and it’s okay that we’re all processing in different ways. What matters the most is that we’re taking steps to cope with stress in healthy and productive ways.
The better we come to terms with and cope with the pandemic, the more our communities will thrive when everything ends. By maintaining good mental health, we’re doing not only what’s best for ourselves, but also what’s best for our families, friends, and loved ones.
Take Time to Center and Ground Yourself
Before anything, it’s important to make sure that you’re treating yourself with the utmost kindness and respect. You need to treat yourself with the same gentleness and love you would treat your best friend or a family member.
Recognizing that we are all collectively experiencing this pandemic is significant. You wouldn’t expect someone who has gone through a traumatic experience to feel one hundred percent, so don’t expect it from yourself either.
Just like you would feel better in a clean, uncluttered environment, you need to do the same with your mental space. Quieting your mind can help keep you from allowing everything to overwhelm you. Meditating, praying, or journaling are all constructive ways to acknowledge your feelings and let them go.
Tracking the things you’re grateful for will also shift your mindset from negativity and loss to positivity and gain. Writing and journaling can reduce symptoms of depression while giving you an outlet to express yourself and share your story.
Although it’s important to stick to a constructive and “normal” routine, make sure you also break up the monotony. Feeling like you’re reliving the same day can be exhausting and can make us feel worse as time goes on. By occasionally changing your pace, you can add a dash of excitement to your day and to social distancing.
If you can, try something new in order to brighten up the days. This can manifest in a number of ways, ranging from learning how to play an instrument to creating uplifting playlists.
You can look up and try some new and simple recipes if you’re not much of a cook. Maybe try dusting off a book or reading one of our recovery reading recommendations if you’re not much of a reader. You could even take the time to watch one of Recovery Unplugged’s new Sober Streams in order to feel inspired by music and recovery.
Even if you’re not able to go to public spaces, try making a mental getaway. It doesn’t matter if it’s building a blanket fort or taking a stroll to the bench down the street. Just remember that it’s okay to give yourself a vacation from the monotony.
Mental and Physical Health are Connected
Taking care of yourself physically can improve your mental health significantly. Exercising, taking walks in nature, and getting in tune with your body can help you feel healthier overall.
One way to motivate yourself throughout the week is to prepare your clothes and lunches ahead of time. This can keep you from falling into poor eating habits that can make you feel worse physically. It also helps by encouraging you to get out of bed, freshen yourself up, and start the day.
Music can also help encourage you to get active and stay physically healthy. Playing your favorite songs while you clean or work has a number of benefits. Aside from the satisfaction of listening to your favorite tunes, dancing gives you a boost of endorphins, the natural feel-good chemical in our brains.
If you’re tired of feeling stuck inside and can leave your home without endangering yourself or others, do it! Putting on a motivational playlist and going for a walk can change your outlook and bring you extra energy. Getting fifteen minutes of sun can also give you a necessary and revitalizing dose of energy and vitamin D.
Paying attention to your body’s needs can help you better manage your mental needs. Even just taking the time to smile and laugh on a daily basis can make the stress feel easier to manage.
Helping Others Is Helping Yourself
Just like recovery, positivity is something meant to be given and shared, not just kept for yourself. Coping with stress in healthy ways improves the outlook for everyone you come in contact with within your community.
If someone around you exudes positivity, you’re more likely to feel positive about yourself. By maintaining good mental health, you could be this person for someone in your community, friend group, or family.
By showing someone in your life love and gratefulness, you’re also going yourself good. Even a gesture as small as sending a thank you message or note can brighten someone’s day and bring you joy.
Even though it might be draining, it’s significant to remind yourself that social distancing ultimately saves lives. Finding the silver lining in this situation is the best way to keep your morale up.
Keeping Up with Recovery Unplugged and Our Community
If you’re struggling to stay in touch with your community, Recovery Unplugged is here to help you maintain that connection. Music is the great unifier and can help us all through the hardest situations.
With the launch of our Sober Streams, we’ll be doing our best to keep you in contact with our musicians and clinicians. Our sober concert series will bring the magic of music right to your homes in new and exciting ways.
Regardless of whether you’re joining Meditation Mondays, Tune-up Tuesdays, Ask A Therapist Thursdays, or our Front Porch Sessions, we’re excited to share with you. Make sure to check us out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to see how you can join.
If you’ve been feeling isolated and unable to maintain your connections with your community, we’re here to help you. We understand that addiction is isolation and that recovery is community, and we want to help you with your recovery.
If the strain of social distancing has caused you to relapse, we want to help you get back on track with your recovery. With emergency rooms across the country preoccupied with COVID-19, the dangers of overdosing are especially high now.
Substance abuse treatment is essential to keeping you from becoming another overdose statistic. If you’re struggling to maintain your sobriety, reach out to our admissions team today to see how music can make the difference in your recovery.