Anyone who has worked the 12 Steps has heard the word “serenity.” Inner peace is incredibly important for our mental health and recovery from addiction. Pursuing that level of calm can be challenging even in the best of times – in the era of COVID-19, it can feel downright impossible. Today on the blog, we’ll give you some helpful tips for finding serenity during the pandemic.
What Does Serenity Really Mean?
The word serenity is often defined as a feeling of calmness or tranquility. When people achieve this mental state, they aren’t shaken by the smaller trials of day-to-day life. The ability to face challenges is vital to sustained recovery.
Serenity doesn’t mean that a person will be bubbly, exuberant, or overflowing with joy every second of every day. Instead, it means that they have found peace with themselves. Sobriety is the path that many people take to find this harmony. There is a section within the Big Book that outlines the benefits of 12-Step life, which reflect the results of a serene lifestyle:
- Feeling prepared to handle life’s challenges
- Making selfless choices (less selfishness)
- No more self-pity
- Being equipped to help others
- Reduced fear and anxiety
- The end of financial struggle
- A renewed outlook on life
So, we’ve confirmed that serenity can help you to enjoy life, stop catastrophizing, and think clearly when times are tough. Here’s our advice for carving out this tranquility for yourself in these uncertain times.
As Thanksgiving approaches, you’re probably already thinking about the upcoming season of reflection and togetherness. Take advantage of this and find a few different ways to practice gratitude in your daily life. Even though COVID-19 has changed our lives in countless ways, there is still so much to be thankful for.
To advance your journey to serenity, set aside some time to write out your blessings. You can start small with something as simple as your clothing, the company of a friend, or your health. As time goes on, you may get more comfortable with expressing your gratitude throughout the day. When a car lets you over while you’re driving, give thanks. When your child draws you a picture, give thanks. Try to acknowledge every good thing that happens to you – you’ll boost your mental health and adopt a more positive mindset.
Focus on Your Physical Wellbeing
It’s hard to have great mental wellness when your physical health is jeopardized. Our minds can’t think clearly when they don’t have the right amount of fuel and rest. Be sure that you’re taking the time to eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep. Additionally, take the appropriate precautions for COVID-19. Practice social distancing, wash or sanitize your hands regularly, and wear your mask in public. Keeping yourself safe and healthy will help to pave the path to serenity.
Find Joy in Quiet Time
In today’s climate, it can be tempting to flood our senses with news updates, social media posts, debate coverage, and videos about current events. While it’s important to stay up to date on what’s happening in our country, everyone should have a limit for their daily news and noise exposure.
Many people distract themselves from inner struggle by keeping the TV on 24/7, or by turning on the radio in the background while they spend time at home. However, for those in the pursuit of serenity, we recommend that you spend some parts of the day without noise. The constant stimulation of the TV, radio, and social media can prevent you from truly relaxing – give your ears and your mind a break!
Choose How You React
People with serenity are great at handling the daily difficulties that pop up for all of us – unexpected expenses, bad social interactions, and disappointments at work, for example. This is the case because they don’t run from their problems.
For many people, addiction is rooted in escapism: wanting to avoid discomfort by escaping reality. This is why recovery requires us to live life on life’s terms. Instead of ignoring your problems, getting stuck, and feeling unhappy, remember that you can choose how you react. The skills you learned in treatment should be brought into your life, especially during the pandemic.
Here are some ways that you can foster serenity through handling daily trials:
- Talk about it with someone you trust
- Break the problem into smaller, more manageable pieces
- Find the silver lining: what can you learn from this situation?
- Recognize patterns: have you experienced this problem before?
- Change something – anything! – and see what happens
- Ask for help from a friend, family member, or professional
- Focus on finding solutions instead of ruminating on how bad things are
Surround Yourself with Positivity
Finally, remember that the things we read, watch, and hear affect our thoughts, so choose your entertainment (and company) carefully. Instead of spending your free time watching content that upsets you or visiting those who jeopardize your sobriety, make the right choice. Watch others’ recovery stories and read books about protecting your sobriety. Spend time with others who are in recovery, either in the context of 12-Step meetings or personal friendships. By cultivating an attitude of positivity, you’ll be that much closer to a life of serenity.
Find Serenity in St. Augustine, Florida
In the supportive environment of our long-term rehab center, recovery is possible. We help you to find serenity and heal on your own terms. For more information about our clinically sophisticated approach to recovery, contact our admissions team today.