Thanks goes out to my colleagues Tian Dayton PHD , Dr. James Flowers and Recovery coaches David Malow and Shayne Anderson for their thoughtful contributions as well National Institute of Drug Abuse ( NIDA )
Each day the anxiety meter rises as we take more and more precautions to safeguard ourselves, our families, our friends, precious clients and our communities. Previous economic research shows that recessions lead to worsening substance abuse. For instance, in an earlier recession 22 million individuals , 8.5 percent of the population met diagnostic criteria for substance abuse in 2015.
With a country on lockdown and people being advised to take shelter, workers worry about lost income, their children being at home and in general experience increased psychological distress Based on previous data substance abuse will be on the increase .
Worldwide there has been an increase in the sales of Italian Wine, Sherry and Sparkling Wine. On March 13 The New York Times reports that people are purchasing “dizzying amount of alcohol across the country and that in addition to toilet paper and Purell alcohol is the hottest selling commodity.” https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/us/coronavirus-alcohol-sales.html
Likewise, according to The Cut local deliveries of weed are on the increase. “People are on edge, anxious, cooped up, bored, and home. Across the city, the weed delivery men and women, bringing calm your way an eighth of an ounce at a time, are working in overdrive.
An informal poll of local text-for-delivery services suggests that far from social distancing, the city’s marijuana couriers, and the illegal services that employ them, are making house calls.”
To help keep you, and your loved ones safe here are 14 Proven Methods to Keep Ones Anxiety away from the Bottle, Bong, Vape Pen, Nonprescription, and street drugs
- Take it One Day at a Time. Or Perhaps One Moment at a time. With the news changing every hour on the hour we must take responsibility for “own state of Calm”
- Practice Mindfulness. Wake up each morning and greet the day with a mindful mediation and a gratitude list There our wonderful aps such as Calm and Headspace. Mediation books are plentiful in line
- Start a Gratitude list – Write three things you are grateful for each day in the morning and three before you go to bed. Today I am grateful for facetime with my family, zoom for my clients, my husband and Teddy and Coco. What are you grateful for?
- Ritual-if you are used to mediating, writing a grateful list, brushing your teeth and getting ready for work or kids for school continue those rituals. Your home can have a spot to work as well as for children to do their schoolwork. If you are used to participating in support groups keep a going online that is.
- Keep your home in order-Wherever you live keep your belongings in order. It’s so much easier to pick things up and put them away as it makes you feel powerful and counters any feelings of helplessness as you have control over your belongings etc.
- Stay Connected – Peer and Family Support- Make sure that you don’t isolate Reach out and call a friend or family. Ewe are doing more facetime then ever before. Even my 13-year-old grandson faced time me last night.Connection is always been the key to recovery and if you are in recovery there are online meetings everywhere. Technology definitely helps
- Exercise – There are exercises for just about anyone and everybody. You just have to do it. My grandchildren are working out to yoga tapes and dancing. A walk outside fills my soul as the wind whips on my face. My daughter’s gym Box Union is offering free classes as are so many other places
- Engage with a professional – if you are feeling down – Telehealth is readily available and, in this time, many professionals are offering like myself are offering reduced fees or in some cases pro bono services. Help is always just a phone call way
- Eat Healthily- This may just be the time as you stock your shelves to think about what healthy meals you may want to try. This is a great time even if you don’t cook to try new recipes and to be creative in the kitchen. Drink lots of water., sip a glass every 15 minutes. Don’t be a hoarder. Stocking up may be you are not being mindful of your neighbor.
- Clean that closet or that garage – Take on that special project. Write in your journal, read a book, watch a funny movie paint a picture, putter in the garden create a scrapbook. Do something that takes you outside of your self in what folks call a “flow state” . it takes you to a different level away from preoccupation into flow and even kicks in those endorphins
- See the Glass as Full. Look through a lens of positivity. What is good in your world. Keeping the narrative in our head positive is crucial to staying healthy. Self-talk is critical. Look in the mirror smile, esteem yourself and know we will all be fine if we stay
- Get Sleep – Sleep is important for our well-being. Keep to your routine.https://intellibed.com/the-intellibed-story/bedtime-stories/10-fun-things-to-do-when-you-cant-sleep/
- Lastly as Tian Dayton and others have suggested Limit the time you spend glued to the news or talking about the virus. Go about your day whether its caring for kids, taking a break, telecommuting from home, writing blogs etc. Reward yourself with a hug, give others a virtual hug or if you are lucky enough let that trusted servant of yours albeit dog, cat or even bird give you a hug,
- Follow the guidelines as listed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC and your local authorities.
Most of all Do Not Confuse Temporary for Permanent. We are all worthwhile. We will work again. We will travel again. Our children will go back to school and their sports teams will play. Remember we all are Enough.
If you have a family member or loved one who experiencing a substance abuse or mental health crisis, help is just a call away. Contact me today and learn how your family can thrive even in uncertain times.