Millions of people in all corners of the globe have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to slow the spread of the virus, many local governments are telling citizens to practice “social distancing” and to stay at home as much as possible. Many businesses have been ordered to close their doors in the meantime, which means that many of us are either working from home — or not working at all.
These are trying times, to say the least. Some of us have suddenly been forced to juggle multiple roles simultaneously — employee, parent, teacher — while still being expected to give 100 percent in each capacity. Others may find themselves so isolated that they can’t ignore the negative thoughts in their head. For anyone in Camden or elsewhere in NJ that struggles with depression, this can be a trigger for gambling problems.
During times like these, when we feel exhausted, trapped, and vulnerable, it’s more important than ever to make sure that we take care of our mental health. Here are a few ways to help you maintain your daily life and avoid the urge to gamble.
Stick to a Routine
Staying home 24/7 might make you wonder: why even bother getting dressed? But waking up late and staying in your pajamas all day can just make you feel more listless. Instead, try to follow a routine that’s similar to the one you had before the outbreak. Wake up at the same time every day. Dress like you’re going to work or school. Eat healthy meals at regular intervals. Establishing a consistent pattern can create a sense of normality and help you feel more in control.
Pause for a Break
Self-care is always important, but now, it is especially critical to remember to take a little bit of time to do something for yourself. Instead of scrolling through your social media all day, get off the couch and do something active or call up a friend. Taking the time to stay in touch with loved ones at a distance can help alleviate feelings of loneliness.
If you find yourself stuck at home, here are a few activities you can try to keep busy:
Take Advantage of Available Resources
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, or depressed because of the situation at hand, there’s no need to suffer in silence. While some healthcare facilities are closed, you may be able to use tele-health services instead of going to visit a doctor.
Times of uncertainty can bring out the worst in us, or drive us to do things that we know we shouldn’t — like problem gambling or drug use. If you live in Freehold or anywhere else in NJ, CCGNJ is here to help with support, treatment, and hope. Our confidential helpline, 800-GAMBLER, is available 24/7, whenever you need it.