Recovering from Self-Harm During a Pandemic
As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on, living in its shadow has gradually become more and more familiar to us. But familiarity hasn’t made any of it easier to live with, especially not those of us who were already struggling with our mental health prior to this year. Recovering from self-harm during a pandemic isn’t easy—but it is possible.
Why Resisting Self-Harm During a Pandemic is Difficult
« Pandemic life » has caught on as a saying and a meme, but it’s also incredibly apt. One of the challenges of this year has been learning to live with not only the reality of the virus itself, but the ways in which it can affect nearly every part of a person’s life—especially their mental health. There are many factors in our lives that we can change or walk away from in order to improve our wellbeing, but in a global pandemic, there’s nowhere to go.
When faced with an issue we can’t physically escape, it’s only natural to turn inward to seek relief. Some people binge-watch their favorite shows or dive into one book after another in search of temporary reprieve. For others, self-inflicted injuries seem to provide a similar release, however brief—and with the social isolation that walks hand-in-hand with pandemic life, it can be hard to find a voice of reason loud enough to drown out that craving for relief.
As the months drag on without a vaccine or a clear end date, patience begins to fray and resilience erodes. It gets harder and harder to resist engaging in self-harm during the pandemic precisely because the pandemic can seem, on the worst days, like it’s never going to end.
Of course, anyone who’s gone through a depressive episode and found themselves on the other side of it can tell you the truth—that just because it feels like it’s going to last forever doesn’t mean it will.
Tips for Recovering from Self-Harm During a Pandemic
Recovering from self-harm during a pandemic can be challenging, to say the least, but it’s not impossible. As always, it’s largely a matter of having the right tools for the job.
Therapy, a solid support network, and a few handy resources aren’t just helpful—they’re empowering. These things will remind you, as you move forward with your life, that you are not powerless. Even in the face of something as overwhelmingly pervasive as a pandemic, you can still change your life for the better. Healing is still possible. Hope is not out of reach.
What coping techniques have you found helpful for recovering from self-harm during the pandemic this year? Share your suggestions in the comments section below!