April is the 28th annual Stress Awareness Month, and for many of us, it has been the most uniquely stressful time in our lives due to the COVID-19 outbreak. More alarming – especially for those of us who already live with an anxiety disorder – is the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. How long will we need to observe self-quarantine and social distancing to prevent the rapid transmission of the illness? When will we be able to send our children back to school? Can society ever go back to the way it was before the pandemic?
If you’re feeling more worry than normal, and have been struggling to accept the fact that long-term stress might be part of your life for the unforeseeable future, here are some realistic ways you can cope.
1. Laugh Often
We all have something that tickles our funny bone, whether that comes in the form of standup comedy, sitcoms or online memes. If you feel tense or anxious, pause and look for the humor in everyday life. Laughing provides a natural boost for your immune system, helps lower your blood pressure and decreases production of stress hormones in your body, among other benefits. Treat yourself to a hearty belly laugh, and you’ll feel tension draining away.
2. Practice Mindfulness
If you have always meant to develop or improve a mindfulness practice, the coronavirus pandemic represents an excellent time to do so. Meditation is a highly adaptable practice you can do nearly anywhere. If sitting still and focusing on your breathing doesn’t appeal to you, try alternative ways of bringing more awareness into your life with techniques such as mindful eating or chores.
3. Consume News Responsibly
It’s tempting to check the day’s headlines when you first get out of bed and continue to look at them all day, but doing so will not benefit your mental well-being. Becoming fixated on updates about coronavirus is a surefire way to add to the stress you’re experiencing. It may even make you more irritable and prone to snapping at other people – which will create disharmony when you’re trying to self-quarantine. Instead, set specific times during each day to catch up, and consider taking a day or two off if you start feeling overwhelmed.
4. Acknowledge Our New Reality
Yes, life has changed rapidly for all of us over the past month. You have likely experienced an upheaval in both your long-range plans and your daily ways of doing things such as exercising. However, instead of dwelling on all the things you can’t do during coronavirus lockdown, practice gratitude for what you do have – a place to live, people who care about you, modern technology that makes quarantine time more comfortable, etc. Shifting to a positive mindset can help improve your outlook and help you feel more optimistic about what the future holds.
Women’s-Only Addiction Treatment During Coronavirus
At Canyon Crossing, we remain dedicated to our mission of helping women recover from addiction and make a fresh start, even during a pandemic. We continue to stay abreast of the CDC’s guidelines regarding COVID-19 as times change and our knowledge of coronavirus evolves. Don’t let your stress and worry over the virus stand in your way of getting qualified help for a substance misuse issue. Reach out to us today.