Handling Stress a Year into the Worldwide Pandemic

MastHead Outline
April 2, 2021

Handling Stress a Year into the Worldwide Pandemic

Managing and achieving recovery goals can already be challenging under normal circumstances, but the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the globe has added an extra layer of difficulty. People in recovery may feel the effects of being stuck inside for the past year and are also starting to feel that their coping mechanisms will run dry as stress begins to mount. There are many ways to healthfully deal with stress. Still, with the risk of relapse looming, those in recovery must create a proactive plan for the upcoming several months as we continue to work through these unprecedented times.

Stress and Addiction

The CDC reported that as of late June 2020, there had been a 13% increase in substance use, with over 40% of adults reporting struggling with mental health and substance misuse. As everyone does their best to stay home and slow the spread of the coronavirus, people who are currently battling addiction, are in treatment, or long-term recovery all have stress as a potential trigger that lurks around.

Prioritizing Health

Stress is more than an emotion or feeling; it can have significant effects on overall body wellness. It can also manifest in different ways, such as migraines, muscle aches, teeth clenching, and other small and sometimes easily ignored physical signifiers such as heart palpitations. Keeping health at the forefront of priorities and reaching out to medical professionals to discuss potential effects of stress that are wearing on the body can make a huge difference for someone in recovery who is working hard towards their goals.

Maintaining Routine

After nearly a year into stay-at-home orders, the initial motivation to stick to a plan for improving during the extended time at home can feel somewhat bland and useless. This can be particularly difficult for people who are currently out of work and living alone. Creating a list of responsibilities, activities, and projects is vital to keeping things moving even many months since the initial life changes of life during a pandemic were solidified. Falling into a rut can lead to depression, anxiety, and triggering emotions that can threaten someone’s recovery goals.

Learning to Relax

It may seem impossible to relax while it appears that the world has been turned upside down by a virus, those in recovery are encouraged to look into honing advanced relaxation techniques. These practices such as meditation, self-care, yoga, nature walks, and other methods that can help the mind and body relax can be potent stress relievers for those who feel like they are beginning to lose their grip on managing life in lockdown.

Much of the fear and worry associated with the whole world practically coming to a standstill can tap into some tricky post-opiate recovery behavior and feelings. People are dealing with boredom, isolation, loneliness, and other stressors that could increase the chances of relapse. It’s common for people to self-medicate during stressful times, making it essential for those in recovery to focus on productively handling their stress.

Recovery Is Possible With AppleGate Recovery

If you continue to struggle with opioid addiction, there is hope. At AppleGate Recovery, we specialize in medication-assisted treatment. By curbing cravings with medication and offering compassionate counseling, our programs help patients break the cycle of addiction and relapse.

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