Essential Ideas on Emotional Health and Addiction During COVID-19
For some, an existing anxiety, depression, or addiction could increase in degrees or new symptoms can emerge.
It can feel overwhelming. It’s like our minds are stuck in a cycle or wave of confusion and powerlessness.
For many who are recovering from unhealthy thought patterns and addictions, I believe the feeling of powerlessness is the most painful part. I think so because the idea of being powerless goes against the eternal truth we know deep within us:
You Are Made to Be Powerful and Free- not a slave to fear and unworthiness.
We hate it when we define ourselves by what we’re not. We don’t always consciously realize we’re doing that, but our minds and bodies definitely tell us when we do this (ie. worry, shame, unrest, hopelessness affect our health).
Powerlessness goes against our true self. We deeply desire to take ownership of our lives and live out of who we truly are.
So to that goal, whenever those waves and cycles of powerlessness roll in…
Here’s 5 steps towards a healthier mindset or if you’re struggling with an addiction.
1. Empathy: Name the feelings and situation you’re in. Define it. Put words to it.
2. Empower: Ask, “What am I going to do about it?”
If the answer is: “I Don’t Know.”
3. Explore: Ask, “What have I tried in the past that has worked for me?”
4. Educate: Ask, “Who can I contact for support, info, or resources?”
5. Empower Again: Ask, “Now, what am I going to do?”
This last step is important. No matter how small a step it is to you, any step is better than doing nothing about it.
If you’re unable to do these 5 steps by yourself, you can ask someone you trust or call the crisis hotline below to process these questions with you.
Remember- the struggle is real because you truly are made for freedom and self-control. You are on your journey to growing powerful and free. These are some keys to survive and thrive during major change and uncertainty.
In addition, May is Mental Health awareness month.
The Mayo Clinic posted a helpful article on mental health during this time:
“When these unhealthy symptoms of fear, anxiety, depression, anger last for several days in a row, make you miserable, and cause problems in your daily life so that you find it hard to carry out normal responsibilities, it’s time to ask for help.
Hoping mental health problems such as anxiety or depression will go away on their own can lead to worsening symptoms. If you have concerns or if you experience worsening of mental health symptoms, ask for help when you need it, and be upfront about how you’re doing.
To get help you may want to:
- Call or use social media to contact a close friend or loved one — even though it may be hard to talk about your feelings.
- Contact a minister, spiritual leader or someone in your faith community.
- Contact your employee assistance program, if your employer has one, and get counseling or ask for a referral to a mental health professional.
- Call your primary care provider or mental health professional to ask about appointment options to talk about your anxiety or depression and get advice and guidance. Some may provide the option of phone, video or online appointments.
- Contact organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for help and guidance.
- If you’re feeling suicidal or thinking of hurting yourself, seek help. Contact your primary care provider or a mental health professional. Or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or use its webchat at suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat.
Continue your self-care strategies
You can expect your current strong feelings to fade when the pandemic is over, but stress won’t disappear from your life when the health crisis of COVID-19 ends. Continue these self-care practices to take care of your mental health and increase your ability to cope with life’s ongoing challenges.