April 28, 2020
TIPS AND RESOURCES TO HANDLE STRESS, ANXIETY,
AND SOBRIETY WHILE SOCIAL DISTANCING
In the wake of the coronavirus, our lives are changing daily. With so many unknowns and constant changes, the fear, anxiety and stress may be overwhelming. Not being able to gather is causing additional pressure on those trying to maintain sobriety. If you are struggling, here are some things you can do to take care of your mental health in the face of uncertainty:
- Separate what is in your control from what is not. Focus on the things you can do and avoid those that you cannot. Wash your hands frequently and remind others to wash theirs. Limit your consumption of news and social media fearmongering. Don’t let comments and judgements from others make you doubt yourself and your actions.
- Do what helps you feel a sense of safety. This will be different for everyone, and it’s important not to compare yourself to others. It’s ok if you’ve decided what makes you feel safe is to limit outings, but make sure you recognize when you are isolating based on potential for sickness versus isolating because it’s part of depression.
- Take care of your body-Get outside in nature. Take a walk, stretch, meditate. Exercise can be done with 6 ft distancing and helps both your physical and mental health. Eat healthy, balanced meals. Take vitamins.
- Challenge yourself to stay in the present. Perhaps your worry is compounding—you are not only thinking about what is currently happening, but also projecting into the future. When you find yourself worrying about something that hasn’t happened, gently bring yourself back to the present moment. Notice the sights, sounds, tastes and other sensory experiences in your immediate moment and name them. Engaging in mindfulness activities is one way to help stay grounded when things feel beyond your control.
- Stay connected and reach out if you need more support. Social distancing and/or isolation does not mean eliminating all social contact, just physical contact. Text or call someone you trust to talk about what you are feeling. Sometimes just hearing another voice is enough to keep you grounded. If you are feeling particularly anxious or if you are struggling with your mental health, it’s ok to reach out to a mental health professional for support. You don’t have to be alone with your worry and it can be comforting to share what you are experiencing with those trained to help.
We are in this together and help is always available. If you’re feeling alone and struggling, you can also reach out to The Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
If you need additional resources, feel free to reach out to Chris Hall by phone or text at 253-365-8512 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are some links for virtual meetings to help you through these times: