For many people, the world feels like an uncertain and sometimes dangerous place. It’s natural to feel anxiety, especially during a pandemic. However, people in recovery from addiction or mental health disorders can’t let fear control their lives. How can you start to manage anxiety while socially distancing? Self-care may be one answer that’s easy, free, and available to all. Many people don’t realize that exercise is a great way to practice self-care by boosting your natural endorphins. This makes you feel better, and exercise is healthy as well.
Stress and Endorphins
Before talking specifics about self-care that can help you manage your days, it’s essential to understand endorphins. Endorphins are polypeptides, i.e., amino acid chains, that your body and brain cope with stress and also help you deal with physical and emotional pain. They do this by increasing your dopamine production, causing a pleasant effect.
Endorphins are often altered by using drugs or alcohol, so when you quit, you may not produce as many of them naturally. Your body takes a while to begin to create them without assistance.
Exercise is one way to boost your endorphin activity naturally. When you exercise, your body typically releases endorphins. Some people say that they get a “natural high” from doing things like bicycling or running. You can have a similar effect by exercising, but you must exercise regularly to help your body unleash those endorphins.
Self-Care to Reduce Anxiety and Stress
There are many ways to unwind, but when you’re stressed and especially anxious, you may find yourself filled with “nervous energy.” Self-care for this energy involves expending it. You don’t have to go to the gym or join an exercise class.
Getting moving can be hard at first, but the rewards are worth it. Here are some ideas to help you get started:
- Go for a daily walk
- Find some warm-ups or some cool-downs from video websites to try.
- Try some yoga.
- Dance to some music in a quiet space.
- Learn how to stretch.
- Try some kickboxing videos from the internet.
- Clean your house intensely. Try mopping, sweeping, etc.
- Do jumping jacks.
- Find some online cardio.
- Go on a bike ride.
- Go surfing in a socially distant area.
- Do lunges and situps.
There are plenty of ways you can get creative with exercise. Find something that you enjoy. If you live with aches and pains, you can try some movement-therapy as well.
There are many videos online from health practitioners that can help you learn to stretch or regain muscle strength. Ask for guidance from a doctor or a therapist if you have any trouble deciding what works to help you get moving your body regularly.
Getting Help for Addiction
Addiction is a disease that needs treatment by a team of experienced addiction professionals. During the age of COVID-19, addicted people are more vulnerable than ever to danger. Getting sober IS possible, and there is help available right now. Please give yourself a chance! We want to help you. Get in touch at 800-970-8774 to learn more about your options.