Stress and worry about the coronavirus are often made worse by the isolation of social distancing. During the COVID-19 pandemic, you need to stay healthy and safe and that means spending a lot of time alone. When you learn how to practice self-care while social distancing, though, you can enjoy a higher quality of physical and mental health during these challenging times.
Recognize Stress as Normal
It is important to understand that any stress and anxiety you are now experiencing is a normal reaction to the virus and its effects, including orders to stay at home and to maintain social distances from others. It is not unusual for you to have strong emotions or fear right now, particularly as you are working through your addiction treatment and recovery plan. You may experience:
- Anxiety about your physical health
- Fear for the health of your loved ones
- Changes in your sleeping or eating patterns, including difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep
- Difficulty concentrating
- Worsening of other health problems
When you know how to practice self-care while social distancing, though, you can improve your own health and overcome these negative emotions.
One of the best ways to take care of yourself during isolation is to continue to get daily exercise. If you have a walking trail near you or a safe place to walk where you can maintain social distancing, the fresh air and exercise will benefit your physical and mental health significantly.
You can also download exercise videos from streaming services to get a workout at home every day. The important thing is to keep moving as much as you can while at home, instead of sitting on the couch and watching too much tv.
Exercise has been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and depression. When you are in addiction treatment, physical activity can be especially helpful. As you feel better about your physical health, you are less likely to be tempted to use drugs or alcohol to relieve your stress.
Hydration and Nutrition
When you are under stress, it tends to affect your digestive health as well. If you are not eating well, you can experience an imbalance of gut bacteria and possibly inflammatory symptoms. To care for yourself and to improve your digestion, you should make sure your daily diet includes nutritious foods such as vegetables and fruits. Reduce or eliminate the amount of junk food you consume. Also be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Mindfulness and Unwinding
Self-care often involves taking some time to just focus on your own health and well-being. One way to unwind and reduce the stress involved with the effects of COVID-19 is through mindfulness. When you slow down and intentionally focus on the present moment, rather than worrying about what might happen next, you can enjoy the benefits of mindfulness on your physical and mental health, including:
- Improved mood – Mindfulness training may reduce depression and anxiety. One study found that mindfulness training was as effective as antidepressant medications in preventing a depression relapse.
- Reduced stress and its consequences – Mindfulness can lead to less intense stress responses. This has many health benefits, such as lowering your blood pressure and strengthening your immune system.
- Improved ability to cope with pain –People with chronic pain who practice mindfulness meditation report less severe pain and pain-related distress. They are also more active in spite of their pain.
- Improved brain functions – Practicing mindfulness helps build your ability to pay attention and focus. Over time, mindfulness can also sharpen memory and improve mental performance.
Take a Break
When you have to stay at home and are maintaining your social distance from others, you may turn to your television, laptop, or phone constantly for news and updates about the coronavirus outbreak. Staying informed can be a good thing, but you need to take a break frequently to be sure you are not being overwhelmed with COVID-19 information. Limiting your exposure to social media and to the news is very important for your health and well-being.
Calming Goat Offers Essential Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder
Our addiction medicine group at Calming Goat is an essential healthcare business. We will remain open, following CDC guidelines for COVID-19, to help you find true recovery from your addiction. We work on healing the whole person, focusing on your mind, body, and spirit. We provide the types of medication assisted treatment you need, through a blend of medications and therapies, so you can experience true healing. Call (424) 376-3444 or contact us online to schedule your appointment today.