It’s normal to feel afraid, discouraged or overwhelmed during times of uncertainty – and it’s difficult to imagine a more unpredictable time than now. Amid the rising death toll of the coronavirus pandemic, we’re also learning more about how people who contract the virus can have health problems that persist for months. These circumstances are enough to make even the most mentally resilient people stressed and anxious.
Self-care is one way to improve your well-being, but you might have neglected your needs lately due to mental burnout or fatigue. What are some practical self-care strategies you can use to your advantage during COVID-19?
1. Observe National Recovery Month
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has designated September as National Recovery Month. 2020 is the 31st year of this nationwide observation of the realities of substance abuse and recovery. If you’re working on your sobriety – whether you’ve been doing so for a few months, or several years – you can use the tools SAMHSA has provided to enhance your efforts and renew your commitment to your goals.
2. Exercise Regularly
The link between physical and mental health is well-documented. Self-care in the form of exercise can give you an all-natural energy boost and help improve your mood. The emergence of COVID-19 and the resulting closure of gyms and health clubs put many people’s fitness goals on hold, but you don’t need a lot of room or expensive gear to get an effective workout. The number of no-equipment fitness videos on YouTube has proliferated during the pandemic. Try several to find a program you can stick with, and watch your well-being improve.
3. Concentrate on Things You Can Control
The 24-hour news cycle is hectic enough under normal conditions, and 2020 has hardly been a typical year. Instead of drowning in the tide of breaking news and getting angry or depressed about the state of the world, focus your mental energy on elements within your sphere of influence. Be grateful for what you have, taking a one-day-at-a-time approach. Choose to have a positive attitude, rather than dwelling on negativity.
4. Do a Digital Detox
Smartphones and other gadgets have connected the world and put incredible convenience at our fingertips, but these devices have a dark side. If you automatically reach for your phone whenever you hear a notification of an incoming email or news alert, you could be subjecting yourself to undue levels of stress that compromise your overall health. For better self-care, limit your use of smartphones, tablets and similar tech by taking a digital detox. See how much better you feel after a day, a week or more of living in the moment, instead of being in thrall to electronics.
How to Recognize When You Have a Problem
If you’re struggling to manage complex emotions, or if your anxiety levels are starting to interfere with your daily tasks, your impulse may be to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. However, these substances can lead you down the risky path of dependence and addiction. When you realize you’ve lost interest in activities other than drinking or using drugs, or you only feel “normal” when you’re intoxicated, you need accredited treatment to teach you how to manage the disease of addiction and reclaim your life. To learn how holistic recovery at Vista Taos Renewal Center can let you make a fresh start, call us today.