Now is the time to take a step back and get perspective on your mental health

Mental health and the Corona Virus put us in uncharted territory. Our daily life has been disrupted going on nine months, and we don’t know how much longer these conditions will last. For mental health, this has all felt incredibly destabilizing. The stock market is a roller coaster, many people haven’t worked for months, and the whole world is on a kind of lockdown certainly never seen in my 40 years.

You can’t control the virus, but you do have tools for managing mental health

In recovery, we are prepared for this. Life on life’s terms is one thing we learn early on. There are specific things to do in tough times to prevent relapse and we’ve learned how to take care of ourselves. This is one of our greatest achievements in recovery, but it’s not a piece of cake. I reminded a panicked friend this morning that recovery and self-care take practice.

You can’t wait to feel inspired when it comes to recovery and self-care, you must treat it with discipline like you would training for anything.

Mental health and corona virus means you have to change things up

So, make a list of all the things you do for your recovery and mental health that you can’t do right now. Explore things that you can substitute under these current circumstances.

Here are my substitutions

I usually attend meetings in person. I will now attend online or by phone. I exercise, which will now be reduced to activities I can do alone and outside. I hike but biking, jogging, and other activities are still available. I attend group meditation classes, many of which are moved online so we can still participate. Youtube also has lots of great meditation content and full Yoga Classes. I’m not currently in therapy but most therapists are turning to telehealth if you need to connect with mental health professionals.

Many people are learning how to work out at home, work at home, cook more and find new ways to entertain themselves. If possible, change the perspective and look at this like an opportunity to do things you’ve wanted to do or finally read that book. I’ve gone back to some old passion projects as my schedule has’ lightened’ and that’s been an unexpected pleasure.

If you want more ideas or just like to read, try any of the follow:

Remember, you are not alone in this! Everyone is experiencing discomfort and support is there if you need it!

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Lindsey Glass

Lindsey Glass is the co-founder of Reach Out Recovery. Her 2016 ASAM Media Award winning documentary, The Secret World Of Recovery, has helped to lift the stigma from addiction and recovery and is used in recovery programs nationwide to show what life is like on the other side of addiction. Lindsey's teen prevention documentary, The Silent Majority, was distributed to PBS stations nationwide by American Public Television in 2014-15. Lindsey has written dozens of popular articles on recovery. She is a recovery advocate and frequent keynote speaker. Lindsey is the author of 100 Tips for Growing Up, My 20 Years of Recovery, 2019. Before focusing on recovery, Lindsey was a TV and screenwriter. She has worked in publishing, web development, and marketing.

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