Maintaining Positive Mental Health While in Social Isolation

By The Valor Team
Monday, April 13, 2020 at 11:09 am in
mother and daughter video chatting with loved one

It’s a very difficult time right now for people going through treatment for addiction and mental health issues as well as those in recovery. The lack of face-to-face counseling and support group personal meetings can leave you feeling depressed and anxious.

Of utmost importance for your health and well-being is staying on track with your treatment and recovery. Here are some suggestions for ways to help you stay healthy, mentally and physically.

1. Keep in Touch With Loved Ones and Your Support Groups
Staying in touch with family and friends, your therapist and your support groups, either by phone, email or video chat, can do wonders for improving your mood and keeping you on your path.

2. Communicate Your Feelings and Those of Others
Reach out to those people you care about – friends, co-workers and relatives. Make a list of people to call, and start calling them, one by one. Listen to their stories, their fear, their distress and ways of coping, the hardships and the unexpected joys and even funny moments. Feel the humanity. Be a good listener. Focus less on you and more on them.
Talking about your own feelings, and being a good listener for others to express theirs, can be very healing and inspiring.
You will emerge a better person from your reach out efforts, filled with storied memories of humanity’s experience and how you helped by listening and caring.

3. Exercise Regularly
Establish a routine to get much-needed exercise. Go outside to walk or jog, keeping a safe distance from others. Sunshine and fresh air can increase the release of endorphins to relieve stress.
If you enjoy taking exercise classes, there are a ton of free online workouts on the internet. 

4. Meditate Daily
Simply breathe and meditate to clear your mind for 15 or 20 minutes at least once a day. Not only does meditation decrease stress levels, but it can also have an impact on your physical well-being.
If you’re new to meditation, or even if you practice regularly, you may enjoy some of these online meditations.

5. Practice Gratitude
Be grateful for the unexpected time spent with family while in isolation. Play games, do art projects, or work on puzzles together, and be grateful for having others you care about with you. Quality time spent with loved ones, free of the usual distractions, is extremely valuable. Be in the moment.
If you are alone, stay busy. It’s a great time to catch up on projects around the house you’ve been meaning to do. It’s also a great time to learn a new skill, like playing the guitar, learning a new language, honing your professional skills, or reading that book you purchased but haven’t read yet. 

6. Avoid Watching Too Much News
Obsessing or bingeing on the news or social media reports of Coronavirus is a bad idea and is not healthy. It’s good to stay informed, but don’t spend a lot of time consuming the news, and especially not social media, which may be fraught with misinformation and fear.
Devote your time to positive pursuits. If you’re watching TV, choose fun and inspiring programming and movies that are lighthearted and inspiring.

Being in isolation is difficult at best, and it can take a toll on your mental health. Keeping a positive attitude and practicing some of these simple suggestions might make it easier for you to cope.

Think positive. This too will pass, life will get back to normal, and you will be stronger for having had this experience.