It’s not unusual to feel stress and depression during the holiday season. But in 2020, our ordinary blues about over-commercialization and too many seasonal obligations have been joined by the infamous COVID-19 pandemic. During a time of year that practically demands JOY, many of us are struggling with Coronavirus illness, job loss, financial worries, virtual education, and social isolation. And when maintenance of sobriety and mental health are added into the mix, that’s a whole new level of stress altogether.
With people stressed out and stuck inside, many are turning to drugs and alcohol for comfort. In 2020, one survey showed a 55% increase in alcohol consumption and a 36% increase in the use of illicit drugs (Recovery Village 2020 Survey). The CDC reports that 41% of the U.S. population in the U.S. say they’re experiencing mental health issues as a result of COVID-19.
Behavioral health disorder relapse during the pandemic is a very scary but real possibility. While everyone is different, relapse triggers tend to be similar — addiction cravings come on as a result of physical, social, and mental triggers. The pandemic provides more than enough of those. So how do we cope?
L.A. CADA believes that good personal relationships are more important than ever this holiday season. For people impacted by addiction, healthy relationships are also the single biggest predictor of long-term recovery. If you haven’t been connecting with others much – by phone, text, Zoom or virtual 12 Step meetings – now is the time to reach for that lifeline. Chances are someone you haven’t heard from for a while is struggling too and YOU can be the change you want to see in this world. Be of service – it’s good for everyone!
The CDC has additional suggestions to boost your happiness:
- Get outside
- Limit time on your devices and social media
- Get plenty of sleep and
- Eat healthy
Whatever the holidays bring you, please know that L.A. CADA cares. We’re here for you when you need us. Call (562) 906-2676 if you need help. Here’s looking forward to a healthier New Year.