These are challenging times for everyone throughout the world. The orders to stay at home have left many people wondering when they’ll be able to socialize again or even go to a favorite store to shop for items that are not considered essential. When you are in addiction treatment, you may be particularly anxious. Your recovery can and should continue during the COVID-19 pandemic, even as you may be asking the same question many others are asking: When will life go back to normal?
Although no one can put a date on the end of the outbreak, there are possibilities based on the effectiveness of the measures put into place to stop the spread of the virus. Experts are projecting that life will return to normal when “enough of the population—possibly 60 or 80 percent of people—is resistant to COVID-19 to stifle the disease’s spread from person to person.”
Possible timelines range from one to two months, during which people who are infected build up their immunity and the rate of spreading decreases, to twelve months, which gives researchers time to develop an effective vaccine. Research scientists are hopeful that COVID-19 will respond much as flu viruses have in the past, acting as a seasonal disease that significantly slows its spread during the summer months.
What You Can Do Now
In the meantime, there are many things you can do now as you continue through your addiction treatment, to adjust to the current situation. Mental Health America (MHA) suggests that if you are experiencing the effects of forced isolation, you should:
- Use your smart phone to stay connected to family and friends. Shift from texting to voice or video calling to feel more connected.
- Keep comfortable. Do the things you are already enjoy doing at home; just do more of them.
- Practice stress relief whenever you feel anxiety building – do some deep breathing, exercise, read, dig in the garden, eat some ice cream – whatever works for you.
- Don’t do anything you’d consider to be unhealthy for you, such as use of drug or alcohol – that will just increase your anxiety afterwards.
- Keep looking forward. Make some plans for six months down the road.
Mental and Physical Health
How do you maintain your physical and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic? When you don’t know for certain when life will return to normal, you can focus on the present and take steps to make the most of what you have available to you now.
- Physical exercise. Maintain your physical health by continuing to exercise each day. Go for a walk, if you have a safe walking path available to you and you can maintain social distancing from others. The fresh air will help you mentally and physically. Check for exercise videos that will help you get some aerobics or strength training at home.
- Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is “…a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience without judgment” and is about “observation without criticism; being compassionatewith yourself.” Practicing mindfulness can be beneficial in reducing your feelings of stress and anxiety during these uncertain times.
- Maintaining good nutrition. When you cook at home, you have more control over what goes into your daily meals. Use this time to try new, healthy recipes that will benefit you physically and mentally.
In addition, MHA suggests creating a new routine and keeping routines that make you feel good. Your daily routine of showering, brushing your teeth, getting dressed, making your bed, and keeping your home clean and in good condition will help you to feel more positive about your situation.
Take advantage of technology as you wait for life to get back to normal. Reach out to friends and family using online platforms and social media. Stay in touch with accountability buddies that will continue to be encouraging and supportive.
Online Therapy at South Miami Recovery
Continuing your addiction treatment is critical for your health and recovery. Many healthcare professionals are moving to telehealth services during the coronavirus outbreak. At South Miami Recovery, we understand your concerns and are still here for you. While we cannot set a date for when life will go back to normal, we are doing all we can to help you during the orders to stay at home and maintain social distancing for your safety.
Our expert team is creating remote equivalents for the addiction treatment services you need now. All online services are protected for privacy and meet our consistent high standards. Contact us to learn more about group sessions, individual sessions, family sessions, mindfulness and guided meditation groups, evaluations, and assessments.
We strongly encourage you to contact us today to speak to our staff. We speak English and Spanish. Call South Miami Recovery at 305.661.0055.