Feelings of Hope During COVID-19

Feeling of Hope: What We Will Never Take For Granted Again

“When this is over, may we never again take for granted: 

A handshake with a stranger

 Full shelves at the store

 Conversations with the neighbors

 A crowded theatre

 Friday night out

 The taste of communion

 A routine checkup

 The school rush each morning

 Coffee with a friend

 The stadium roaring

 Each deep breath

 A boring Tuesday

 Life itself

 

When this ends: 

 May we find that we have become more like the people we wanted to be, we were called to be, we hoped to be, and may we stay that way, better for each other because of the worst.”

– Laura Kelly Fanucci

 

There is no telling when this global pandemic will come to an end. Millions of us are unemployed, thousands of us are sick, and many of us are fearful of the unknown. We are scared of the virus, terrified of the effects it will have on our economy and our mental health. Many of us are forced to work on the front lines while others have the luxury of staying home. There may never be a return to normal, a new normal is on the horizon, but what is a new normal? Will we always have to wear masks in public? Will we still be bumping elbows instead of shaking hands? Will we always be encouraged to practice social distancing? There are so many unknowns that have driven unwanted fear, hate, anxiety, stress, and sadness. But there is also so much hope that has brought into the world because of this global pandemic. 

 

We have adapted

We have learned to communicate virtually through social media and video conferencing. We have clapped for each other, sang with each other, and cheered for each other on our balconies to communicate, “we are still here.” We have become accustomed to masks in public and keeping our distance, six feet to be exact, as a courtesy to protect others. We have visited our doctors and therapists via computers and phone calls, and we have learned to take advantage of curbside pickup and delivery. Our lives and circumstances have changed drastically, but we have not given up. Instead, we have learned to adapt. 

 

We have come together in community

It is not uncommon to see groceries left on doorsteps, encouraging chalk art on the sidewalks, artwork hanging in windows, people volunteering to run errands for the sick and weak, people donating their time and money to help others. Celebrities have provided free virtual comedy shows, concerts, and entertainment to the public. The rich and famous have donated large sums of money to help develop a vaccine and medications to fight COVID-19. Politicians have fought hard to provide financial cushions, debt forgiveness, and forbearance to those who qualify. Regardless of our gender, social class, or race, we have all been affected either directly or indirectly from this virus. As a result, we have all learned to come together as a community to lend a helping hand and choose hope and happiness. 

 

We have slowed down

Travel has been postponed, vacations and sporting events canceled, our social calendars have been cleared, and we have been asked to stay home from work and play. We have learned to appreciate the comfort of our homes, the company of our immediate families, and the value of time. We spend more time nourishing our bodies with home-cooked meals and virtual living room workouts. We can now sip our morning coffee with ease, enjoy long conversations with loved ones, take time to read books, listen to music, and watch the seasons change with ease. We are no longer running the rat race, stuck in traffic on the freeway, and trying to “get ahead of the game”. We are slowing down, reflecting, and taking the time we need to rejuvenate our bodies and minds. 

 

We have practiced kindness

Whether its running errands for strangers, dropping off food for our loved one, supporting our front line workers, or donated to those in financial need, so many of us have gone above and beyond to practice kindness during this trying time. Generosity and kindness are beneficial to our happiness and mental health. Kindness is linked inextricably to joy and contentment, at both psychological and spiritual levels. 

 

We have become resilient 

Everyone has been affected by COVID in one-way or another. Whether we have succumbed to physical illness, mental turmoil, or have reaped the financial repercussions from job loss and the economy, COVID-19 has done a number on our society. However, we are still standing. This is not the first time our society has survived a global pandemic, and more than likely, it will not be the last. We have found ways to keep going, even when reality seems grim. We are strong and resilient, and we have shown that through these trying times. We are finding ways to occupy our time, to entertain each other, to connect, and to make ends meet. 

 

We have asked for help

Many of us are stubborn in the sense that we take pride in being independent and strong. Many of us view asking for help as a weakness when, in fact, asking for help is a sign of strength. Asking for help shows humility, reveals the value in teamwork, and shows that we are trying to learn and gain different perspectives. Asking for help, in the long run, makes us smarter, broadens our horizons, and can do wonders for our mental health. Many of us have asked for help during COVID in more ways that one. We have asked for help financially, we have asked strangers, neighbors, and friends for favors and errands, and we have asked for help from our government, family members, frontline workers, and professionals. Sometimes asking for help can be difficult, especially if we are natural leaders, self-sufficient, and strong-willed, but asking for help during COVID has shown the importance of teamwork, humility, and the willingness for change. 

 

During this trying time, our world has come together to support each other. We have adapted to change, strengthened our communities, offered our helping hands, portrayed kindness, learned to be still, and have become more resilient than ever. It is easy to see the hardships and adverse effects of COVID-19, but even through the darkness, we can still have feelings of hope. Hope for the future, hope for our health, and hope for the next generations to come.

Stressed And Sober: How To Keep Your Sobriety

Recovery from addiction brings many challenges on the journey to lasting sobriety. The ups and downs of daily life can accumulate, increasing your stress level and the risk of relapse. Active measures can help you to deal with stress, so you can stay sober, regardless of outside circumstances. At Quest 2 Recovery in Lancaster, CA, we understand the problems and challenges of maintaining sobriety during stressful times.

Have A Plan in Place For Dealing With Stress

An effective substance abuse treatment program will anticipate managing stress as part of the recovery effort. You should have a plan for dealing with these common stresses before they occur, so you can reach for your plan to help you manage the emotions and impulses that are likely to result. Unfortunately, individuals may not always be aware of the buildup of stress in their lives. A number of measures can help them deal with upsets and disappointments before they occur.

Learn To Recognize Your Stress

Make a habit of doing an internal assessment when you are feeling out of sorts. Ask yourself a number of questions about your present condition and state of mind. Is fatigue making you feel less able to deal with a stressful situation? Have you been eating poorly, which can cause physical distress? Were your expectations out of proportion to the reality that is presented? Are you anxious, depressed or angry? Knowing yourself well can help you to deal with the ups and downs of normal life, without resorting to substance use to mute your emotions and reactions.

Remember To Breathe

Stress causes muscles of the chest to tighten, which cause individuals to breathe more shallowly, This reaction, in turn, inhibits the supply of oxygen to the brain and body. As a result, limited breathing can cause you to feel more stressed, unable to think clearly and out of control. When you feel under stress, stop and take a moment to focus on your breathing. Slow down your breathing, in and out, and you will find your thinking slows down along with it, and your body will become more comfortable.

Put Exercise Into Your Daily Regime

Exercise can help you to manage stress, by increasing blood circulation that brings oxygen and nutrients to all parts of your body, including your brain. Whatever your exercise of choice, such as workouts, yoga, running or a formal sport, the activity will help to increase dopamine in your brain, which helps you to remain calmer and to think more clearly.

Learn To Meditate

Learning to meditate is a recognized way to deal with negative emotions and thought patterns. Take a meditation class or use a meditation app to help you to calm your mind and emotions, so you can manage everyday life more effectively.

Talk Yourself Out of Negativity

Self-talk can be an important method to change your thought patterns and dispel negative emotions. You may have to “get touch” to stop yourself from spiraling into relapse. Even self-talk that merely looks at the situation more rationally can help you to get to a mental condition that allows you to regain control over your emotions and reactions.

Talk To Someone

Whether you choose to take your problem to a meeting group, a close friend or a counselor, make the effort to talk about what you’re feeling and how much stress you are under. Often, the simple act of talking to “get it out of your head” can put the problem into perspective and input from others can have a calming effect that allows you to manage your emotions and actions more effectively. This is why having a support system is so critical to recovery after addiction. These systems help you to find different ways of viewing the situation and better solutions to manage them.

Take Time For Self Care

Make sure you put the time in your schedule for self-care. Each person determines what self-care entails. It may simply be time for reading, prayer, enjoying the outdoors or playing with your pet. You may have a hobby that gives you satisfaction and puts your mind into a better place. You may enjoy a sport or enjoying time with friends. Whatever puts you in a better frame of mind is your “self-care,” and you should make time for it whenever you are feeling under stress.

Choose Quest 2 Recovery For Help Maintaining A Sober Lifestyle

The addiction specialists at Quest 2 Recovery use their specialized training and experience to help individuals recover from substance abuse and learn methods to manage daily life. We offer detox, inpatient care, dual diagnosis care, and aftercare to help you maintain sobriety. Call Quest 2 Recovery today at 855-783-7888 to make an appointment with a counselor to overcome addiction and learn to sustain your recovery for a normal, productive life.

How You Can Enjoy Life More after Becoming Sober

Addiction can be a truly crippling disease.

According to the World Health Organization, 3.3 million deaths per year result from alcohol abuse. Somewhere around 31 million people all over the world also struggle with disorders related to drug use.

Becoming addicted to substances that can cause such irreparable damage to your body may seem so illogical, but when you are in the throes of your downward spiral, all that really matters is satisfying your dependency. Your wellbeing probably won’t rank high on your list of priorities at that point.

Still, many are afraid to let go of their dependency. They fear that sobriety will rob them of their joy and make it impossible for them to have fun in any meaningful way.

That is far from being the case of course. There is indeed fun in sobriety and by following the tips included below, people in recovery and those who have already become sober will be able to understand that there’s life after overcoming the challenges of addiction.

1. Start to Develop More Meaningful Relationships

One of the things that tend to happen when you become addicted to any harmful substance is that you start to alienate the people around you. When your mindset 24/7 is just about how you can satisfy your urge, you don’t often spare a second thought for the people around you.

It takes a lot of courage to admit you’re wrong to the people who care about you and ask for their forgiveness, but those are all parts of the healing process. By doing those things, you can begin to better understand what you were missing as you throw yourself fully into the arms of toxic substances.

Connecting with people, hanging out with them, and sharing a few laughs are all fun activities you won’t be able to enjoy fully as long as you’re addicted.

Being sober will also help you create new relationships with new people. You can expand your network and welcome more people into your life now that you are no longer dependent on a substance.

2. Become More Active

Being dependent on certain substances can really take a toll on your body. Even if you were a relatively healthy and fit individual before, your dependences may have changed that.

Now that you are sober, you can begin to reclaim what you lost.

Take up a team sport such as basketball to get in better shape and to get a better sense of what it’s like to be part of a group. If you’re not up for that just yet, you can also try out other physical activities such as hiking or camping. You won’t need any mind-altering substances when you have the wonders of nature stimulating your senses.

On top of all that, becoming more active can also reduce post-acute withdrawal symptoms, according to VeryWell Mind.

3. Indulge Your Creative Side

It’s not just your strength and the vitality that’s drained from you when you become dependent on drugs and/or alcohol. Your mind also loses its edge as well.

Some say that they use those substances in the first place because they want to alter their state of mind, but there is simply no need for them if your goal is to simply experience something truly special.

Devote your energy into coming up with a story that deserves to be told or if you’re more skilled with a sketch pad, draw whatever it is that is running through your mind. The mind can become so muddled when it is dependent on foreign substances, but now that it is returning to normal, it can come up with such wondrous works again.

4. Beautify Your Home

So, what’s the best way to leverage all those inspired ideas that are floating around inside your head? Well, one thing you can try is to start changing things around your home.

In the past, your home may have seemed like a sanctuary for your substance abuse, so changing it up quite a bit is not a bad move at all. Feel free to go all out with the changes you want to make as well. You’re fortunate to have a fresh start and your home deserves one too.

If you do have a knack for drawing or painting, you can even put your works up to around your home as reminders of what you can accomplish now that you’re sober.

5. Relax

You’re always running after something when you’re addicted. Perhaps you’re running after that substance that can provide that artificial high or something else that can eventually help you capture that elusive sensation.

There’s no need to constantly run anymore. You can now relax.

Take the time to breathe, meditate, and reflect on how far you’ve come since those days when your addiction overwhelmed you. Sobriety itself is the greatest reward, but even just being able to relax again is something you’ll be able to appreciate greatly.

Conclusion

The notion that becoming sober means no longer having fun is just flat out wrong. Using harmful substances is not a prerequisite for enjoying your life. Now that you’ve broken free from the clutches of those substances, you can start to see what living life truly is about.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, it is not too late to get help. At Quest 2 Recovery, it is our goal to help you get off drugs and live a better life. Contact us today!