Are you experiencing additional anxiety these days due to the COVID-19 pandemic? It’s important to remember that you are not alone!

This is a very trying time for all, however we know that those who struggle with the disease of addiction are particularly at risk. Isolation and boredom can often serve as triggers that can lead to relapse.

In recovery, we learn that community is one of our strongest assets. We understand that we recognize that we cannot fight addiction alone.

Here are some coping skills we can practice in order to manage our anxiety and allow ourselves to stay healthy — mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Deep Breathing

Breathe In through your nose and out through your mouth. Lift your hands above your head and deep breathe. This allows oxygen to continue to pump through your body and to your heart.

Guided Meditation

Many of us have a lot of extra time on our hands these days, making it the perfect opportunity to begin or continue that meditation you’ve always heard about but never really dove into. There are many free sources that provide meditation including apps such as Headspace, Calm, Aura, Smiling Mind and Insight Timer.

Journaling

The benefits of journaling include decreased depression, reduced stress and lightened anxiety. There are many types of journaling: Diary, Daily Reflections, Gratitude Journal or Goal Focused Journaling. Pick your preferred method and start writing.

Gentle Distractions

Now is the time to start working on those little projects around the house that have been on your to-do list for months. Gentle distraction can help take your mind off of what is initially provoking anxiety and also help us to feel accomplished once those to-dos are completed.

Online Community Support

A support community is always available online. Social distancing does require us to avoid virtual interactions. It is essential that we continue to receive the support of others in recovery. The great news is that there are countless virtual 12 step meeting options with an open invitation for you to join in. Checkout:

In the Rooms

Alcoholics Anonymous Online

12 Step Meetings.org

Although the current health crisis can provoke anxiety and fear, do not use it as an excuse to drink or use. It is more important than ever that we put into practice the coping skills that we know will help us manage our anxiety and fear.

Remember — take it one day a time and continue to practice gratitude toward the here and now.

Even in isolation, help and hope are available. Explore Valley Hope’s archive of recovery resources to strengthen your sobriety. If you or a loved one needs help with substance abuse, the Valley Hope team is available 24/7 at (800) 544-5101.