How to Stay Positive
In just a few short months, the novel coronavirus has challenged us in ways we never could have predicted. From cohabitating 24/7 with housemates and family members to coping with homeschooling, unemployment, or working remotely, these changes can create uncertainty and negativity about the future. Indeed, with the constant news coverage of COVID-19’s spread, it seems difficult to focus on anything else. Today, we’ll walk you through our top tips to help you stay positive during a pandemic.
1. Seek Support
This item tops our list because it is perhaps the most crucial to remaining positive during self-quarantine. By fostering fellowship within your community and reaching out to professionals, you will have a host of people to turn to when things get tough.
Calling friends, neighbors, and members of your sober support network can provide an outlet to vent, build one another up, and find strength in solidarity. As stay-at-home orders are modified and lifted, it is still important to keep your safety in mind before interacting with others on an in-person basis. Instead, consider keeping a physical distance between yourself and friends when seeing one another, or continuing to communicate via FaceTime, Google Hangouts, or an old-fashioned phone call.
In addition to your inner circle, be sure that you have contact information for recovery resources and clinical professionals at the ready. The disruption caused by the pandemic has everyone feeling shaken up – even those with decades of sobriety. By regularly checking in with your treatment center’s alumni coordinator or making use of local resources, you can protect your recovery throughout this time.
2. Have Faith in the Future
Hope is the cornerstone of positivity. Without a bright vision for the future, it’s difficult to make it through each day of COVID-19. When you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything, take a moment to breathe deeply and reflect on what life will be like once quarantine is fully over and life has returned to normal. Remind yourself that all of this is temporary, and that we’re doing it to protect ourselves and others. This is especially important during the multi-phase process of reopening, when we may be frustrated by the pace of our return to normalcy. Have faith in yourself, your local officials, and the future.
3. Be Intentional
Researchers predict that Americans will report depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders at unprecedented levels due to the pandemic. However, it is possible to manage your thoughts, words, and actions, even when you are stressed out or anxious. Be intentional in the days ahead. For example, consume a useful amount of news – enough to understand government guidelines and the current situation – then turn to something more positive instead. Seek out stories of human kindness or generosity, and take a moment to write in your gratitude journal. Spend half an hour meditating or sitting in the sunshine. By filling your days with this kind of joyful activity, you’re more likely to experience a lighter mood and an overall boost in positivity.
4. Find a Way to Help
Helping others is integral to the 12 Steps, and it’s also a great way to brighten your outlook on life. If you’re a sponsor, for example, regularly check in on your sponsee or lead remote meetings during COVID-19. If you have sewing experience, volunteer your time to make masks for nurses, doctors, and those on the front lines of the pandemic. Those who have unique talents, such as musicians or educators, can provide impromptu concerts or lessons to children who are in need of entertainment. There’s no shortage of ways to help others – find your path to philanthropy today!
5. Focus on What You Can Control
The Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison urges Americans to focus on the things they can control, rather than worrying about the things they can’t. Sound familiar? This adage guides individuals in recovery each and every day, and it is especially salient now. Merely asking yourself, “What’s the right thing to do right now, knowing what I know?” and acting accordingly can provide direction and lessen pressure in the days ahead. Instead of spending your time feeling anxious about the world at large, narrow your scope and look at the parts of your life that you can control. This recipe for positivity will keep you grounded and focused during the pandemic.
Need Help to Stay Positive? We’re Here for You
Are you having a hard time during COVID-19? We understand. Through strict adherence to CDC and WHO guidelines, Lakeside-Milam has modified all of our facilities to safely treat patients for the foreseeable future. If you or your loved ones need support, clinical care, or treatment for substance use disorders in the weeks ahead, we encourage you to contact us today.