Care for Yourself During COVID-19
Coronavirus has completely turned our world upside down. Constant streams of news coverage and federal updates fill television time slots and social media feeds, and it’s probably been quite some time since you’ve left the house for anything other than a grocery run. Particularly for those in recovery, these days may be filled with uncertainty and stress. However, it is possible to successfully manage these anxieties by delving into self-care. Today, we’ll list 10 ways to care for yourself during COVID-19.
1. Redirect Instead of Obsessing
If you find yourself refreshing pages of the latest coronavirus stats, it’s time to stop. Constantly immersing yourself in the overwhelming milieu of data and coverage may feel comforting at first, but it can lead to emotional distress.
Instead, dedicate a maximum of 15 minutes per day to catching yourself up on must-need information, like emerging recommendations from your state and local government, before putting down your phone or laptop.
Then, instead of ruminating, redirect yourself to an activity that brings you joy. Consider calling a member of your sober support network, playing with your children or putting on a favorite movie. By paying attention to something else, you’ll avoid feeling weighed down by the current situation.
2. Take Care of Your Emotional Health
It’s completely natural to feel anxious or stressed during an event like COVID-19. Everyone responds differently, and your feelings will evolve and change over time. The CDC has released a list of guidelines to taking care of yourself and your mental health in the wake of this virus. Within this document, they advise readers to connect with others, take breaks to unwind, and seek help when needed. Look out for feelings of numbness, fear and disbelief. By focusing your emotional health, you’ll be better equipped to handle self-quarantine and its associated stressors.
3. Set Aside Time to Unwind
If you’re a parent or busy professional, you know how difficult it can be to get a moment to yourself. This challenge compounds when all members of the household are home (and so is your work). Be sure to schedule time for relaxation and reflection each day. For some, this may mean running a bubble bath; for others, it could involve following along with a workout or yoga video. Whatever helps you to unwind, prioritize it in the days ahead.
4. Keep a Journal
Many people in recovery already know the value of keeping a journal. By putting your thoughts and feelings onto paper, you can vent your frustrations, develop a deeper understanding of your mindset and track your emotional state over time. Additionally, this material may be interesting to reflect on in the future – we are living through a major historical event, and you’ll probably want to remember what it was like. The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or confused, write it out.
5. Do Some Recovery Research
Even in self-quarantine, your recovery should come first. Be sure to participate in online 12-step meetings and reach out to your treatment center if you have any questions about how outpatient programming will change due to COVID-19. On top of this, we encourage you to seek out resources like online recovery talks and books on the topic of sobriety in the face of adversity. These will inspire you and provide new ways to enrich your recovery during these uncertain times.
6. Stay Social, Care for Yourself
Staying at home doesn’t mean you have to isolate. Your sponsor, family and friends are all just a phone call away. Try to contact someone different every day, whether through a call or text. It’s also recommended to use FaceTime, Skype or Zoom to simulate face-to-face interactions. By staying in touch with your loved ones and sober support network, you will keep loneliness at bay and your recovery strong.
7. Find a Schedule that Works for You
Due to nationwide business closures, many people are now working from home or unemployed. One of the most challenging aspects of this is the lack of pattern or structure to each day – this means that hours may run together without much getting accomplished, leading to depression and a loss of purpose. To combat this, grab a piece of paper and write out a schedule that can be used to direct each day. You can put these reminders and alarms in your phone so that you’ll know when to eat, sleep and transition to free time. A dedicated schedule can help you to care for yourself during COVID-19.
8. Embrace Your Inner Child
Don’t hesitate to pick up some of the activities that brought you joy as a child. Plenty of adults have spent their self-quarantine days completing coloring books, puzzles and video games. Research has found that adults who play have lower stress levels, improved brain function, happier relationships and boosted creativity. Whether you enjoy playing fetch with the dog or getting out an old board game, consider bringing this levity to your daily routine.
9. Learn Something New
In spite of the many negative effects of self-quarantine and COVID-19, additional time at home does offer a unique opportunity: the chance to learn something new. If you’re feeling frustrated or bored, consider purchasing a musical instrument or art supplies to enrich your days. Plenty of companies, like Fender, are now offering months of free instruction online. By dedicating yourself to a new craft, you can reduce stress and stimulate your brain.
10. Visit a Museum (Virtually)
Did you know that many of the world’s top museums have opened for virtual tours? This means that you can spend the afternoon “walking” around the Guggenheim or London’s National History Museum, taking in views of dinosaur skeletons and world-renowned art. This can serve as a source of entertainment and inspiration for those staying at home.
Care for Yourself During COVID-19
At Cumberland Heights, we understand the unique challenges that the coronavirus presents to those in recovery. If you or a loved one require extra support during this time, we’re here to help. Our residential and outpatient programs are still operational and are functioning according to CDC and WHO guidelines. To learn more about how to care for yourself during COVID-19, please contact us today.