09 Aug COVID 19 BEYOND THE PHYSICAL: How to deal with relapse and rehabilitation
COVID 19 effects that go further than physical symptoms
A pandemic is not only an occurrence that concerns the medical field. Rather, it impacts society by creating disruption, worry, and a lot of stress. Furthermore, the COVID-19 epidemic has most certainly changed the way we all live our lives. It has brought us constant uncertainty, new daily routines, financial strains, and social isolation.
However, COVID 19 is not the only pandemic that has caused suffering and torment across the globe. Addiction can arguably be considered a pandemic since it has taken millions of lives in recent years.
Worsen addictions during the pandemic
Some people have increased their alcohol and drug consumption in the hopes of coping with their worries about the pandemic. However, these drugs only worsen depression and anxiety. The case is not different with people who have already gone to rehabilitation.
The population is now forced to discover new ways to combat addiction because formal group meetings and treatment centres are not accessible anymore. To add to that, there are no more restaurants, concerts, or even church gatherings. As a result, people are left with their own thoughts and are forced to deal with their problems alone.
Due to this, more people are now drinking and using illegal drugs inside their homes. Unfortunately, considering everything, some of those who have already beat their addictions before have now unnoticeably relapsed.
How to fight relapse while dealing with COVID 19
Relapses are frequently observed in the alcohol and drug treatment process. This is so common that estimates now range from 40% to 60% of persons in recovery experiencing at least one relapse before achieving complete sobriety. However, this number has since increased because of COVID 19. In fact, some people go as far as to estimate the percentage to be 90%.
With that, you should be aware of the warning signals that can tell if recovering drug addicts or alcoholics are going through a relapse. Some telling signs include a noticeable decline in appetite and hygiene, not being honest with emotions, and a change in sleeping patterns. Also, some people who are experiencing relapse tend to lose their interest and motivation to attend even virtual support meetings and completely stop doing things they love.
Furthermore, if you feel like you or a person you know is currently struggling with this, here are some of the ways you can fight relapse:
Build meaningful relationships
It has been challenging to stay connected with friends and family during these times when we are required to isolate ourselves. However, we need relationships to stay positive and sane. Therefore, you should always make time each day to communicate virtually via email, SMS, phone, FaceTime, or other helpful social applications.
Choose what you consume on social media
During the COVID-19 epidemic, social media usage exploded to the extent that it has become an integral element of today’s healthcare systems. However, the effects of social media can do more harm than good to people dealing with addiction and relapse.
For the most part, you cannot control what appears on your social media platforms. Furthermore, you prevent going through some pieces of content or information that can trigger some part of your brain linked to your addiction. Therefore, it is always good to be mindful and control what you consume on the screen. You can do so by limiting the use of your devices altogether or blocking the accounts or news outlets that can fuel anxiety, depression, and the feeling of isolation.
Let your emotions out
Having someone to talk to in any circumstance brings a lot of benefits and advantages. To begin, you should avoid judging and even invalidating your emotions. Moreover, you should allow yourself or your loved one to feel the intensity of what is going on.
When one recognizes exactly how they feel, it is easier to address the concerns. Downplaying the situation will only create a lot of doubt and insecurity for the people going through the relapse. Therefore, allowing an individual to know that you are there to encourage them and learn more about what they are going through will help them not repeat their negative patterns of behaviour.
Keep necessary boundaries
While it is essential to have people beside you during these sad times, it will also help to put up some boundaries. Maintaining appropriate boundaries now might be the difference between them receiving the necessary treatment and falling farther into a relapse. Boundaries provide the message that while you love and support the person going through a relapse, you will not tolerate their self-destructive activities.
Before setting up some boundaries, you should first understand and recognize that sobriety lies within your loved one and not you. Therefore, you should start by accepting the extent of help you can provide. With that in mind, you should purposefully encourage and motivate your loved ones in a way that will not appear pushy. Along with this, you should make it known that you will be by their side all the way, whatever happens.
Make conscious efforts to take care of yourself
Since spending time outdoors is not always possible because of COVID 19, you can do self-care by increasing your physical activity indoors. You don’t even need to do those very vigorous exercises. Instead, you can opt for more peaceful and low-impact activities such as yoga and simple stretching. Along with keeping your body moving is having a healthy and balanced diet. According to some specialists in addiction research, changes in nutrition may be an effective strategy to help addiction recovery and prevent high rates of relapse.
If COVID has affected you in any way and you feel the need to speak with a professional then get in touch with the number one alcohol and drug rehab in Bali.