It can be difficult to manage stress and ease anxieties without downplaying the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic. As the world faces this novel virus, there is a lot of uncertainty for individuals and society as a whole. Many people are worried about the virus itself and the health of their loved ones. Others are worried about job losses and financial instability.
Increase Your Sense Of Security
Part of the reason many people are experiencing heightened stress levels during the COVID-19 pandemic is the fact that they feel unsafe. Though many people get the virus and recover, they’re in a sense of uncertainty when it comes to catching the coronavirus. If you feel like your health or the health of your loved ones is in jeopardy, it’s important to increase your feeling of security.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has provided some tips to people with post-traumatic stress to help increase their feeling of safety that can be useful to people in the recovery community. These tips generally involve safety guidelines that medical professionals recommend to avoid catching the coronavirus, including:
- Washing your hands vigorously with soap and warm water for 20 seconds
- Covering your mouth with a tissue or your elbow if you cough or sneeze
- Staying home as much as possible
- Stay six feet away from people in public
- Follow local, state, and federal quarantining mandates and suggestions
- Disinfect surfaces and objects in your home
- Make plans for what you will do if someone in your household gets sick
Following these guides and staying up to date with new information about COVID-19 not only helps you avoid the virus, but it can add to your peace of mind.
Quarantine Without Social Isolation
Medical professionals and government officials have recommended practicing what they have termed “social distancing.” That means staying away from other people as much as possible, keeping six feet between yourself and others, and even staying home except for when you need to go out for the essentials. Some people are better equipped to self-quarantine than others. But people who thrive with social interaction may feel the negative impact of quarantining more deeply.
People in the recovery community are especially reliant on interpersonal connections. Community and accountability are a big part of addiction treatment and relapse prevention. In fact, organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous greatly emphasize unity and connection with one another. For that reason, it’s important to maintain interpersonal connections through the COVID-19 crisis. Using available resources to see and speak to the friends and family that make up your support system can help bring you out of the stress, anxiety, and depression that comes with isolation.
If you’re coping with social distancing well, you may still want to reach out to others with a text or phone call to check on them. If you have a sponsor or a therapist, explore ways to communicate with them via the internet or by phone.
Increase Your Sense Of Control And Hope
As this crisis continues, the news may seem bleak and unsettling for a while. However, it’s important to moderate your consumption of negative media and cultivate a sense of hope. The VA also recommends some mindset shifts that can be helpful in shifting your perspective to a more hopeful one. They suggest accepting the current situation and adapting to overcome challenges. Each day has challenges and potential threats, even before the virus. The threats may be different, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be managed or overcome.
It may also help to get organized and create a routine for yourself, even if your home and quarantine. Pursue productive activities and manage your time wisely. Set achievable goals for yourself and work towards them.