Advice for people in recovery from mental health conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic

This is a difficult time for everyone, but it can be particularly difficult for people in recovery from mental health or addictions.

I wanted to take this opportunity to send a message to those of you who might be struggling and hopefully shed some light on things you could do to support yourself.

Whether you are still going to work or have chosen to stay at home or need to self-isolate, here are a few things you can do:

1) Make a plan for your day. Structure helps reduce anxiety. Having a structure to your day will help decrease the number of decisions you have to make about what you are going to do next and help you calm your restless mind.

2) Stay connected to others. For those in recovery from addictions, connection is crucial. During this time, you can log on to online meetings for support. Check the relevant websites as most fellowships are offering them.

3) Allocate time for self-care. You could listen to a guided meditation or mindfulness session, or exercise at home if you are self-isolating. It will help improve your mood, lower your stress levels and break the cycle of negative thoughts. Checking in with yourself will also help you become aware of any warning signs that might put your recovery at risk.

It is time to be socially responsible and do what we can to protect each other and our loved ones, while still looking after ourselves.

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“When you have a problem and you drink, take drugs or gamble, the problem won’t go away. Stay and tackle the problem”