You’re probably finding our current COVID-19 lockdown pretty stressful. There’s the ongoing anxiety about our jobs – whether you’re a key worker, you are working from home, or you’ve been furloughed, everyone is worried about the future right now.
In addition, we’re all living in close proximity to our partners, our children or housemates, unable to escape the noise for some me-time. And, on top of all that, staying at home all the time is incredibly boring – there’s only so much TV you can watch.
Taking all of this into account, it can be tempting – if you’ve had difficulty with gambling or other addictions in the past – to fall back into old bad habits. Trying to resist this temptation can add a whole new layer of stress to an already challenging time.
But it doesn’t need to be this way – there are simple things you can do, even during lockdown, to help take your mind off your gambling addiction. Here are some tips to help you stay on top of things:
Stick to a routine
The hardest thing to deal with during this lockdown is the loss of routine – it can be highly disorientating. Tackle this by creating a new routine for yourself. Set your alarm to make sure you get up at the same time every day, get a full night’s sleep, schedule in time for different activities throughout the day – an hour to clean the house, an hour or two to play a game with your partner or your kids, an hour to read your book. This will go a long way towards helping you keep busy.
Don’t gamble, go for a ramble
The Government’s lockdown restrictions allow us to leave the house once a day for exercise, so take advantage of this chance to get out of the house and away from people to clear your head and get some peace. You don’t need to get your lycra on, just throw on a coat and get out to your nearest park, enjoy the birdsong and the sound of the wind through the trees – nothing beats the healing power of nature.
It might sound strange, but if you get it right, meditation can really work to clear your mind and settle your anxieties. Set aside time last thing at night to sit alone, pick an object to focus on, and try to clear your mind of all unwanted thought – it doesn’t matter if you don’t succeed in emptying your head, it’s the effort that matters.
Always ask for help
It can be easy at this moment in time to feel like we are alone with no support. But remember, help is still available – there are experts you can talk to over the phone to enable you to work through whatever anxieties you are feeling surrounding your gambling addicition so you can stay strong and resist temptation.