Protecting Your Mental Health and Sobriety During a Pandemic

Protecting Your Mental Health and Sobriety During a Pandemic

The uncertainty that comes with a global pandemic can harm your mental health and jeopardize your sobriety. It is difficult being out of your routine and having to distance yourself from your family and friends. This unexpected anxiety and fear can cause roadblocks on your road to recovery, and you may feel as though a relapse is imminent. But you can maintain your sobriety, even during these uncertain times. Here are seven ways to protect your sobriety during a pandemic.

Seven Ways to Protect Your Sobriety During a Pandemic

1. Attend Online Meetings and Counseling Sessions

With social distancing has come a wave of online meetings. Many companies are moving to online meetings, including mental healthcare providers and recovery groups.[1] Reach out to your counselor or recovery group to learn what they are doing to provide services while maintaining appropriate social distancing guidelines.

2. Create a New Routine

If your work has been affected, you may find yourself struggling with maintaining a routine. It’s tempting to start sleeping in, watch more television than usual, and skip your daily run. And while you should definitely give yourself some slack during this time, routines can help reduce your anxiety and protect your sobriety. Try adding a little structure to your day that includes exercise, healthy meals, and plenty of rest.

3. Stay Virtually Connected

It is important to avoid isolating yourself from your friends and family. While you can’t go out to dinner with your group of friends, you can still meet virtually. Your support network is so important, and your friends are probably feeling anxious like you are. Schedule a group FaceTime or Google Hangouts session on a regular basis to stay in touch.  It’s not quite the same as meeting up in person, but seeing your friends’ faces will go a long way in helping you to feel more normal. And you might be surprised how quickly you get used to talking through a computer screen.

4. Stay Active

It can be difficult to keep up with a strenuous exercise program while your gym is closed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find other activities to do. Try taking a walk around the block a few times a day or trying out an online yoga video. Regular exercise will help you sleep and can reduce your anxiety. Even if you have to get outside and do some yard work, you’ll love the benefits of moving your body and using your muscles.

5. Discover Other Self-Care Practices

What are you doing to take care of yourself during this time? If you have children to care for, or a stressful job, it can be easy to forget about yourself. Focus on finding something to do that is just for you. When you find a relaxing activity that you enjoy, you will feel much happier and less anxious. A few suggestions:

  • Journaling
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Art – even coloring!
  • Baking
  • Writing
  • Reading

6. Avoid the News

Staying up to date on current events is important but, during a global pandemic, it can be easy to obsess over the news. News events in the media can trigger anxiety so it is best to limit your consumption.[2] Set limits on how much you check the news and be sure you are only consuming information from reputable sources. Fear and panic-inducing headlines are really popular, but they only serve to damage your mental health; so it’s best to stay away.

7. Seek Help

If you feel your sobriety slipping, seek help before it goes too far. The experts at Clear Life Recovery understand that this is a scary and confusing time for everyone. We will work with you to protect your sobriety. It is vital to your sobriety to learn how to cope with anxiety and uncertainty. We can give you the tools you need to navigate this pandemic with your sobriety intact. We can help you to identify and remove triggers, and manage anxious thoughts.

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If you are struggling to protect your sobriety during the pandemic, reach out to Clear Life Recovery today. With support and guidance, you can continue to maintain your sobriety.