Since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic, I have discovered many things about myself and how to maintain and manage my recovery.  When it all began, I was very scared, anxious and stressed about what it would mean for myself and those I care about.  When The P.E.E.R. Center had to close for in person services and we were all doing the best we could to work from home and expand our Warmline services, I found myself feeling more physically isolated from my peers, anxious about the future, and generally not coping well with the overall stress of everything.  While here at TPC we are always encouraged to practice self-care and maintain our wellness, as well as model recovery values and tools to our Associates, but once removed I discovered that I was not taking as good of care of myself as I could be and I was letting the stress of COVID-19 affect me in deeper ways.  So, I had a decision to make: I could really ramp up my overall wellness and self-care practices or I could use this as an excuse to justify not taking care of myself and let myself go on a downward spiral.  I chose to practice what I try to instill and model to others about self-care and overall wellness.  I’d like to pretend that this was an easy decision to make, it sounds simple and obvious.  However, being caught up in the midst of a pandemic, lonely, isolated, stressed, anxious and managing my own mental illness, it was difficult to try to move forward and grow in my recovery.  I couldn’t do it on my own.  I had to rely on my support systems-my family, friends, mental health professionals and of course my coworkers-but I had to be creative and find new ways to reach out and connect with others due to social distancing.  Another thing I tried was to improve my physical health as well.  I figured I needed something new to focus on that would benefit me both physically and mentally, so I began making some lifestyle changes that included modifying my diet, exercising and practicing stress reduction techniques.  I discovered that making these changes allowed me to not only lose weight, but definitely helped me feel better overall.  Every time I pushed myself and accomplished something new, it gave me a boost to want to try to keep going.  I found that my general anxiety and mood improved immensely and I feel better equipped to deal with future challenges that may arise.   I can’t express enough how important it is to take good care of yourself, and I hope that sharing my story of coping during Covid-19 will offer you some type of support and will encourage you to take the next step in your own recovery.
Deidra J.
Assistant Director
The P.E.E.R. Center