How to Stay Healthy and Positive in the Time of COVID-19

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The pandemic has affected nearly every single person in the world in some way or another. Staying positive and healthy during this time can be challenging. The added stress of a pandemic—to those of us who are already struggling with an addiction or other mental health issue—can feel overwhelming. As the pandemic continues to surge across the nation, remaining safe and healthy is increasingly vital for us to get a handle on the virus. Everyone hopes to get back to everyday life again soon. Right now, though, we might need to continue to make sacrifices in the new year, even as vaccines are distributed. By maintaining a positive attitude, being realistically cautious, and staying healthy, we can thrive through the pandemic and rebuild in a post-COVID world in the future.

The Bigger Picture

While each state and region may have varying degrees of restrictions or recommendations, many of us have found ourselves spending more time indoors during the pandemic than usual. As months go by and things appear to be remaining the same, we might lose sight of the bigger picture. We might lose sight of the fact that one day, things will be normal again. While no one can say for sure when exactly that day will be, we know that day will come. Remember to look at the bigger picture: while the restrictions and the pandemic have consumed nearly all news feeds for what seems like forever, this will not always be the case. Things might feel uncomfortable or uncertain now; however, looking at the bigger picture can help us stay grounded. We might need to reframe how we see this time while remembering that this is temporary and not forever.

Reframe the Restrictions

Unfortunately, we might not be able to do much about some restrictions and might feel confined or limited in our daily lives during the pandemic. When we experience a loss of control due to external factors, we can easily feel powerless about our circumstances. However, we can reframe how we view this season of life. Our minds are influential in that we can choose to look at the bright side of things. We should not be unrealistic or pretend that everything is fine. Instead, we should recognize that we are somewhat powerless right now and should look for the things that we can control. As restrictions continue to get stricter during the winter, try to look at what you can do with your time alone or with limited contact. Here are some options: 

  • Reconnect with former hobbies and interests
  • Discover new interests and passions
  • Schedule time to talk with loved ones over the phone or video chat
  • Take time out to read, journal, or write letters to loved ones
  • With fewer distractions and a reduced number of triggering environments, focus on your recovery
    • Learn to meditate
    • Practice self-care
    • Use online resources to learn healthy habits

While we all want things to be normal and safe, use this time to improve, reflect, and heal.

Physical Health

As the months go by, we might neglect some critical aspects of our physical health. Gym closures might have taken many of us out of our health and fitness routines. We might have fallen into bad habits or have neglected to take care of ourselves like we usually would. One of the best ways to stay healthy from the virus is to continue caring for ourselves. The healthier that we are physically, the stronger our immune system if we happen to get sick. While our routines might be disrupted, we can view this time as an opportunity to explore other options to maintain our health and fitness.

  • Zoom and online fitness classes can help you stay in shape while indoors.
  • YouTube videos can be an excellent resource for different types of exercise; many don’t even require equipment!
  • Exercise apps and online fitness challenges can help you stay motivated and accountable to your health goals.
  • If you frequent a gym, try exercising outdoors by going for a run, hiking, biking, or going for a walk. 
  • You might discover new forms of exercise that you would never have thought of without this time to try new things. 
  • Guided meditation videos online can also help you reduce stress.
  • Healthy recipes are available online. Since many of us are not going to restaurants as frequently as before, we can learn to cook healthy meals for ourselves.

The pandemic is challenging the resiliency of our nation. For those of us dealing with mental health and addiction, the struggle might feel magnified. Remember that this will not last forever. Keep the bigger picture in mind and use this time to reflect, focus on yourself, stay healthy, and prepare for a better post-pandemic life.

Staying healthy and positive during the pandemic can be a challenge. We might have thought that things would be back to normal by now and feel frustrated. We may have lost sight of the bigger picture and feel hopeless about the end of the pandemic. We can continue to use this time to focus on ourselves without the distractions of the outside world. As many states and cities are instituting restrictions this winter, we might struggle with maintaining a positive mental attitude. Remember to stay healthy and focus on recovery. You are not alone. Many people are dealing with these challenges right now, and others can help you. If you need support during this challenging time, The Kimberly Center is here for you. We can help you connect with others and provide a safe space for your recovery. Hope and change are possible, even during these seemingly uncertain times. Call us today at (855) 452-3683.

 

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