Preparing for the Fallout

PREPARING FOR THE FALLOUT of increased cases of addiction and mental illness stemming from the Coronavirus. As the outbreak continues escalating and businesses and schools move to remote working policies, forcing people into isolation will drastically contribute to the increase of symptoms associated with addiction and mental illness. 

If you are someone who struggles with addiction or mental illness; here are three things you can do to decrease the chances of a relapse:

Get regular exercise. If you're worried about going to the gym because of the Coronavirus or not a person who typically works out, go for a brisk 30-minute walk. Strenuous physical movement has profound mental health benefits;

Go to meetings. It doesn't matter if it's an open AA meeting, Al-anon, NA, or CODA, get to a meeting. If your meeting is canceled because of the Coronavirus, there are plenty of online meeting options. 

As an alternative, get a conference call going with members of your homegroup. Somebody in the group will most likely have access to a conference call number or video conferencing capabilities, and  

Taking steps to maintain your spiritual practice which includes reading spiritually enhancing materials, such as Brene Brown, Caroline Myss, and Melody Beattie, praying, meditating and practicing gratitude are also useful tools.   

The point of all these suggestions is to avoid isolation. As people in recovery or people subject to depression and anxiety, we desperately need to stay connected to other people in uncertain times.  

If you feel like you're drowning don't hesitate to reach out for help no matter what. Nothing will kill a person in peril faster than being isolated or keeping their struggle a secret. 

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 800-273-8255; Siri and Alexa will even call for you if you tell them you're feeling suicidal or thinking about hurting yourself. 

Marc Kantor is the founder of South Florida Intervention which helps families struggling with the devastating effects of addiction. He can be reached at marc@southfloridaintervention.com.