Blog: Life in the Time of COVID-19 – Mental Health

CHOICE Furry Friend Dean, here.

Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with my humans, but after more than a month sheltered-in-place, I am finding that I need to make time for myself. Being “stuck at home” has thrown a rotten bone into my usual routine that helps me manage my anxiety. I know it sounds sort-of stereotypical, but my over-protective and high-alert German Shepherd instincts are kicked into full gear while we are quarantined at home.

I hate to admit it, but I totally broke into the food pantry the other day and binge-ate my roommate’s food. It felt good in the moment, but I’ve been recovering from that decision for almost two days now!

Some ways that I have been able to manage my anxiety during this period of time include:

  • Taking the time to walk, run, or roll around outside.
  • Finding a quiet corner to close my eyes and relax. My human downloaded HeadSpace, which offers guided meditations and helps us build mindfulness into our day.
  • Helping my humans plan our meals for the day or week so we’re not stressing about what to eat every meal (or stress-eating all the food at once).
  • Barking at the mailman, as I usually do.
  • Looking out for different types of birds. Setting up a bird feeder adds a little excitement to our time at home!

While today I feel like I need extra space and alone-time, there are other days I crave more connectivity. Social distancing can be a challenge, especially for those in recovery. Social distancing does not have to mean social isolation, though! We’ve found quite a few online resources that can help:

  • Digital Peer Support apps offer an easy and accessible way to connect with peer support networks, like Talk Life, Hey Peers, or WeAreMore Support Network.
  • Want to learn more about what peer support is and its benefits? Recovery Live! is a great opportunity to learn more from national experts in recovery.
  • Connecting with loved ones, friends, neighbors, or peers is a little easier with platforms like Zoom, WhatsApp, Facebook, or Google Hangouts.
  • Looking for treatment recovery support? The WRAP App can help you develop a daily plan and wellness toolkit. The Washington Recovery Help Line is also tracking updates about program and agency closures and changes due to COVID-19 daily, and their team is available 24/7.
  • Self-care apps are all the rage. HeadSpace, InsightTimer, Stop, Breathe & Think, and Sanvello are just a few resources you can download right onto your phone.

Take care and be well, friends!