These are undoubtedly uncertain times for the world. The current situation has people in their homes for the purpose of protecting people from spreading COVID-19. According to a KFF poll, 45% of adults in the United States reported their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the virus. For some people, this is the first time in this type of situation. It could bring feelings you have never experienced before.
Some common feelings you may be experiencing from this shelter-in-place order are fear, doubt, anxiety, guilt, isolation, and loneliness. For people who struggle with mental illness or who are in recovery, these emotions can be paralyzing. Now more than ever, we are growing conscious of the fact that our mental health is an essential part of our overall health.
We can cope and prevent the surge of these feelings in different ways.
-Create a routine: Our routine experiences give us a sense of self-continuity as our reactions tend to be relatively consistent. According to a study published in The Lancet Psychiatry concluded that people who favor an active daytime routine over a nighttime one have healthier sleep cycles.
-Do activities you enjoy: Painting, writing, listen to music, take a bath, or cook a good meal.
-Stay connected to your loved ones: This could be a weekly video call, or if you are in recovery, consider calling your local Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous offices for ways to go to meetings during this time.
-Consider joining social media support groups to stay connected with a broader audience that is more than likely experiencing the same emotions.
– Get outside safely for daily walks or soaking in the sun in the back yard if your space and community is conducive.
At Rising Roads Recovery, we are also implementing these suggestions with our clients. In Orange County, there is plenty of space to incorporate outdoor activities at a safe distance. Our clients have also stayed close to local 12-Step meetings and their sponsors through zoom. We also love arts and crafts in our normal programming at Rising Roads; the quarantine has allowed us to expand in these projects by processing feeling through art and spreading joy in our community.
Ask for help when you need it. If you are feeling overwhelmed with emotions such as sadness, depression, anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
Lyall, Laura M, et al. “Association of Disrupted Circadian Rhythmicity with Mood Disorders,
Subjective Wellbeing, and Cognitive Function: a Cross-Sectional Study of 91 105 Participants from the UK Biobank.” The Lancet Psychiatry, vol. 5, no. 6, 2018, pp. 507–514., doi:10.1016/s2215-0366(18)30139-1.
Panchal, Nirmita, et al. “The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use.” The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 21 Apr. 2020, www.kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/the-implications-of-covid-19-for-mental-health-and-substance-use/.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. How to Cope with Sheltering in
Place. How to Cope with Sheltering in Place, SAMHSA, 2014.