By now, most of us have accepted the reality of COVID-19. People are more comfortable wearing masks, working from home, and going out less often. Even though the pandemic has become a more “normal” part of our lives, it’s still taking a toll on our mental and physical health.
The country also continues to experience shutdowns, leaving many Americans out of work and without a paycheck. Things are tough.
Some populations have additional complications, including those with addiction and mental illness. With fewer in-person support groups, a decrease in group activities, and a fear of getting sick, drug and alcohol use is on the rise. People turn to these substances to get temporary relief and relieve boredom.
If you are in recovery but struggling with the effects of the pandemic, you may not know what to do with your feelings. Being proactive with your mental health is key, and that’s why we want you to know about mindfulness.
What is Mindfulness? What are the Benefits?
Mindfulness is a type of meditation where you focus on what you’re sensing and feeling at the moment. You can enhance this technique by practicing guided imagery and deep breathing. When done right, mindfulness can help you live in the moment instead of obsessing over the past or future.
The benefits of mindfulness training are:
- Direct your attention away from negative thinking
- Engage with the world around you
- Observe your thoughts and feelings without judgment
- Manage difficult emotions
- Live in the present moment
- Relieve stress, anxiety, and physical pain
How is it Different from Meditation?
Meditation utilizes various techniques to quiet the mind and reach a higher level of consciousness, and mindfulness is one of them. However, mindfulness can also be used outside of meditation and incorporated into everyday activities like walking or listening to music. This is one of the reasons why we like it so much! It's easy to implement into your everyday routine to combat stress and remain grounded.
Using Mindfulness to Cope with the Pandemic
There is much uncertainty in regards to the future. You may be worried about how you’re going to pay your bills, put food on the table, or afford daycare. You’re probably seeing your friends and family less often, and there's the looming concern over how COVID-19 may impact your health.
Mindfulness can help stop the chatter, restore balance, and help you get through your days with a more positive mindset. You can achieve mindfulness by paying attention to what is happening in the present moment, observing things without judgment, and checking in with your personal needs.
If you struggle with mental health and substance use disorders, mindfulness is especially critical. An untamed mind can create unnecessary worry, fear, anger, resentment, etc. that will drive you closer to relapse. Awareness and acceptance can help bring you back to a calm and balanced state.
Mindfulness is a tool that we promote at Awakenings Treatment Center in Agoura Hills, CA. If you’re interested in learning more about mindfulness or feel that you could benefit from additional support right now, contact us today. We are here for you.