It’s perfectly fine to take a break – you’re only human. The Coronavirus is taxing on us all, no matter what our situation may be. Whether we are located in a hot spot where we’re locked down in our homes or we’re hunkering down, waiting for more cases to sprout up in our city, the waiting and wondering is difficult to push past.

I said to a friend that it’s like waiting for a super storm to hit – but there’s no way of telling when – or if – it will. COVID-19 is silent, save for the media’s obsession with it. The news is often on in my house and when it isn’t, we’re glued to our devices, waiting for any more news to come out. It’s great to be informed, but when is it too much? When is it time to take a break?

Take a break when you’re anxious

These are intense times, so maybe our tolerance for stressful situations is faltering. Maybe we feel like we can’t handle as much stress as we used to. And that’s okay. When you start to feel anxious or tense, turn off the TV. Turn off your phone. Turn off your laptop, tablet – whatever – and do something that relaxes you. Clean your bathroom, declutter your bedroom or that one table you use to dump your mail and chargers. Do some yoga or follow along with a workout clip. Or, if you’re unable to get some cardio in, pick up the weights or look up some workout routines you can do to strengthen your arms and core. Treat today as though it’s a mental health day at home.

Or, if you’re fortunate enough to continue your work at home, get up when you normally would, get dressed, and sit at your table or desk as though you’re at the office. Buckle down and focus on your work. Try to stick to your work schedule as much as possible to avoid any at-home distractions. If you can or need to, keep in contact with your coworkers.

Don’t think you’re in it alone

You’re not alone in this. However, we all process things differently. How do you get through difficult times? Take a moment to think about your obstacles and how you’ll get around them. Think about how you’ll let yourself rest – what do you need to do in order to take a break from it all? You don’t have to be a COVID-19 wizard and you don’t have to live by the media. Keeping the news and TV on can result in setting off nerves and depressive episodes. Call someone – anyone you trust and can connect with. Talking to someone can you calm down and feel more normal – and it can help the other person, too. Try calling a sober sister, a mentor, relative, or trusted friend.

Try to act like this is normal

While it’s important to be up to date and in the know, try not to live with the media on. Break away from the TV and internet for a while. Cook, bake, write, read, draw, color, get some recovery work completed. If you’re feeling antsy and don’t want to sit still, many cities still allow citizens to go outside for exercise. If you’re in an area that’s on total lockdown, use YouTube to find a new workout routine, as mentioned above. Open the windows to get some fresh air inside.

Or, maybe you’d rather use this time as a form of vacation. Pretend you’re at a spa. Take a bubble bath with your favorite scent, add a few candles, drink some soothing tea, and let your mind go. Let the weight of the world slide off your shoulders – remember that you are only human and you deserve to take a break.


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Samantha Curreli
Samantha Curreli is a staff writer at Reach Out Recovery. Sam is also a graduate of Arcadia University's MFA in Creative Writing Program and a freelance journalist for New Jersey music magazine, The Aquarian Weekly. She has had multiple pieces of fiction published in literary magazines and short story anthologies.

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