Now that we’ve been in a pandemic for about a year and a half, some of the habits we’ve picked up may be more ingrained. For instance, my screen time has gone up by a lot in that time, as I started using it to turn off my brain when things got overwhelming.
It’s okay if whatever coping skills you had before COVID came around have suffered a little. However, there are ways to pivot so that the habits you’ve built during this time don’t become long-lasting.
Tips for Breaking COVID-Related Habits
I’ve found it’s helpful to make small changes at a time. For instance, during winter 2020 I noticed that I hadn’t been using a lot of the coping skills I’d learned in recovery. I was engaging in toxic patterns with people from my past, using my phone a lot, and not spending much time outside in nature. I felt stuck in these patterns, like it would take so much to get me back to where I’d been.
At some point, I set a goal to meditate every day. That felt like a reasonable commitment that could improve my emotional health and would also feel good to stick to. Since then, I’ve recommitted to the healthy coping skills I’d used before, gradually. I know that if I’d tried to do everything at once during a time I was feeling so down, this might not have kept. It would have been too overwhelming.
You could try journaling about what has helped you in the past, or if you don’t know, asking yourself what might ground you in different moments. If you’re sad, do you usually want to be around people or alone? Once you know the answer, you can either reach out to your support system or engage in a quiet activity like meditation that helps you gain strength.
“The only constant is change” is a cliché, but it’s true. Even if you’ve engaged in patterns that don’t feel healthy for a year and a half now, it doesn’t mean they’re set in stone. You can always grow and change, especially in recovery.
If you are struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, there is help and hope. TruHealing Centers offers high-quality treatment for mental health disorders and addiction in facilities across the country. Our staff—many of whom are in recovery themselves—will help you find constructive ways to cope with challenges, sober. Call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.