The theme of this year's Mental Health Awareness Week is kindness. Are you showing kindness to your mind, your body, and those around you?
After enduring the stress and loneliness of stay-at-home orders and minor or major disruptions to work, school, and home life, we are now navigating the process of opening things back up and taking the first steps into the new normal of pandemic life. Whether you worry that we’re opening too quickly, or have been chafing under stay-at-home measures, you are probably finding yourself dealing with higher than normal levels of stress, anxiety, or depression.
You may find that you are reaching for drugs or alcohol in times, amounts, or frequencies that you never would have in the days before COVID-19 changed our lives. And if you were already struggling with drinking or using drugs, this pandemic may have made it that much harder to hold onto the reins of your addiction.
You might be struggling to incorporate healthy self-care practices and find yourself turning to food, sex, or other unhealthy behaviors for a temporary mood boost.
But, times of chaos are also times of opportunity. Healthy coping skills can be learned, new positive habits can be practiced, and you can think of the pandemic as a “reset button” to build yourself up and be stronger, happier, and better prepared to navigate the stressors of the new normal. And, with virtual 12-step groups, and treatment programs with telehealth options, you can start your journey to sobriety or better mental health from the safety of your own home.