Addiction and Mental Health in Johannesburg in the times of COVID-19

Addiction and Mental Health in Johannesburg Gauteng

If there was ever a time where the prioritising of Addiction and Mental Health in Johannesburg Gauteng needed to be reinforced, it is now, during the times of COVID-19. For those who understand the interconnectedness between mental health and addiction, this is a reminder; for those who do not know, mental health plays a crucial role in the route an addict can take, both on the road out of addiction and the reason why they are an addict.

Addiction and Mental Health in Johannesburg GautengWith that being said, Houghton House Group of Treatment Centres has put together 5 ways that you can prioritise your Addiction and Mental Health in Johannesburg Gauteng and practice self-care without taking up much of your time or emptying your wallet.  Let’s face facts. Since Coronavirus reared its ugly, spiky head at the end of 2019, normal routine has changed for many people. While we understand that you have an urgent and constant desire to watch junk TV, eat junk food and sleep your days away, there is an important reason why you should consider alternative ways to soothe the soul and clear the mind. It’s totally understandable why you would do that, with the world seeming so sad, out of turn and broken at the moment, but you need to understand that it is VITAL to look after your mental health. Strapping on those mental health running shoes and keeping mentally ‘fit’ is the ammunition you need to manage your day-to-day life effectively and keep yourself positive during these challenging times.

We aren’t suggesting that you don’t watch TV and enjoy time off at home. We do however suggest that taking care of your positive and negative feelings (such as unhappiness and sadness) during lockdown will not only get your mind clear, but boost your immune system and give you a fighting chance at staying healthy. Here’s a list of five things you can do to keep mental health a top priority in your life:


ROUTINE

Create a positive, healthy routine for yourself through the day. Include in these routines pleasant, fun and enjoyable things and don’t forget to add exercise and human connection (safely of course) to the mix.  A lunch or dinner prep, zoom call with as many family members as possible; games night at home and watching uplifting (nature and comedy themed shows) can really boost the mind. Don’t forget to get enough sleep, at the right time too!  We suggest turning off cell phones/screens etc an hour before bed and try not to catch up on the day’s news just before you sleep; it will prevent you from taking the bad stuff to bed with you.


EXERCISE

It’s no secret that regular exercise is proven to reduce stress, ward off feelings of depression and anxiety, improve sleep and boost self-esteem.  Of course, as the lockdown regulations state that group exercise is still off limits, it doesn’t mean you should take that as NO EXERCISE is allowed. Running (with masks and social distancing), cycling and walking are all great ways to keep fit and improve mental health. Online workouts, yoga and Pilates are fantastic virtual options to take advantage of in the comfort of your own lounge and remember, a jog around the park will release endorphins that trigger a positive feeling in the body. Get your heart pumping and allow yourself a moment after a workout to recognise and accept the positive way that exercise impacts your mood and overall sense of wellbeing.


AVOID LIFE CHANGING SITUATIONS DURING LOCKDOWN

This may be impossible for some, but this crazy time is tough enough as it is, so don’t add additional stress to yourself by making big life changing decisions that you are going to worry about. Don’t buy that car just yet or that house, if at all possible. Rather weather the Covid storm for now and prepare for post Covid decision making!


SET BOUNDARIES

The ability to say no is something that quite a few of us struggle with. It is commendable to help others and be compassionate, but not good when it comes at the cost of your own mental health. Being able to say no when you need to will impact your ability to say YES to the things that you love and need and assist with the things you need to do to build yourself up. The knock on effect of this is that it will leave you better resourced and able to care for others more effectively.


SEE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH PRACTITIONER

If you suffer from a mental health condition, schedule in time to talk to a professional.  Remember tip number one about routine? Add this to it! Most therapists are working online during COVID-19 and are available to help you work on your mental wellbeing. You may have reservations about making that initial appointment but just take it one step at a time and send an email. You deserve the support.


Prioritise your Addiction and Mental Health in Johannesburg Gauteng

You need to realise that finding the pandemic stressful is completely normal and whilst we are all different and we respond to it in our own unique ways, struggling with difficult or uncomfortable anxiety is to be expected and seeking assistance for this is completely fine. You are never alone and the Pandemic, along with the lockdown will pass. You must prioritise your mental health so that you can give yourself the boost you need to help you to look after yourself and your loved ones effectively.