Is Coronavirus Threatening Your Mental Health?

mental health month

With nationwide lockdowns, widespread unemployment and a mounting death toll, it can be difficult to maintain a sense of optimism during the COVID-19 outbreak. Maybe you’ve suddenly found yourself out of a job and are struggling to make ends meet. Perhaps you’re worried about your family members contracting the contagious virus. Everyone is dealing with the daily burdens of grief, stress and anxiety. Even if you think you’re coping well, these are undeniably challenging times for everyone’s emotional resilience. This Mental Health Month, how can you protect your mental well-being?

Don’t Try to Repress Your Feelings

Emotions – even negative ones like anxiety – serve the genuine purpose of signaling something you should pay attention to. When you try to ignore them, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Telling yourself to “move on” or “get over it” is counterproductive. Sometimes, you need to allow yourself time and space to be sad or angry. These feelings are a normal part of being human.

Learn Self-Compassion

Is your internal monologue stuck on a loop of negativity? Take a step back from the cycle of unproductive pessimism and treat yourself compassionately.

  • Recognize when your inner critic is being unhelpful, and replace negative self-talk with positive. Would you talk about a friend the way you’re talking to yourself?
  • Stop what you’re doing and focus on your breath, rather than on your racing thoughts. Try a simple breathing activity of taking full, deep breaths through your nose, then exhaling slowly through your mouth.  
  • Change your physical environment. Even in quarantine, you can go outside for a walk around your neighborhood or set up your yoga mat for a few poses in your yard.
  • Phone a friend, a family member or your therapist. Talking through your concerns with someone you trust can help you shift your perspective.
  • Practice gratitude. Develop a practice of writing down two to three things each day that make you thankful, such as, “I’m grateful for this opportunity to be closer to my family members during quarantine.”

Recognize We’re All Going Through Difficult Times

If coronavirus concerns are testing the boundaries of your mental health, you aren’t alone. We’re all living with extraordinary levels of uncertainty and helplessness during this pandemic. Optimism is always healthier than pessimism, so find ways to keep a positive attitude. Make time in your daily schedule to laugh. Take frequent good news breaks. Celebrate small victories.

Practice Healthy Coping Mechanisms

In stressful times, it can be tempting to turn to unhealthy outlets such as junk food, abundant screen time and substance use. But if you’re using these things to numb your feelings day after day, this is a sign you’ve lost interest in normal activities and human connection. Instead of succumbing to depression and substance misuse, find alternative activities you enjoy doing, such as exercising and meditating. Use technology to maintain a sense of community. There’s a growing collection of online resources to support people who need extra help with their mental health during COVID-19.

Don’t Give up Hope

Even when all the news is scary, there are still things to look forward to. If you’re struggling with substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health issues such as depression and anxiety during coronavirus, reach out to us today. At Canyon Crossing, we’re proud to continue providing the essential service of women’s-only addiction recovery and dual-diagnosis treatment amid coronavirus concerns.

Benefits of Residential AddictionTreatment

You cannot heal in the same environment that made you sick. This is the philosophy behind our residential addiction treatment program. At Canyon Crossing, women learn to live life on life’s terms while staying in a safe, substance-free setting. This gives our clients the space and peace needed for lasting recovery.
Our residential program combines high-accountability sober living arrangements with first-rate clinical care. While staying in our homes, clients participate in process groups, one-on-one counseling sessions, and hands-on learning opportunities. They also receive ongoing training; in these meetings, life skills like financial management and conflict resolution are imparted. All of this happens with 24/7 encouragement, guidance, and supervision from our clinical team.
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