This pandemic has led to most of us exhibiting all sorts of abnormal behaviours, one of which has been an increase in substance use as a way of coping.
On a normal day having a loved one with a substance related disorders can be an emotional roller coaster. And in my experience talking to family members who have a loved one living with these illnesses, it can be extremely difficult to separate our emotions from the situation. Because of this difficulty, things get said to people living with the illness that can be judgmental, self-serving, stigmatizing, or even just downright mean. This is not meant to place blame on anyone; no one instantly knows how to talk to someone with an addiction or dependency.
There’s been a longstanding myth surrounding maintaining healthy cognition as we age, and that is that we can stay mentally healthy if we do a lot of puzzles and brain games.
But, do you know the effects of what doing lots of puzzles has on your brain? You get really good at doing puzzles. Now, if you like doing puzzles that’s one thing, but don’t do them because you think it will make you healthy.
Rather the overwhelming majority of research shows that to keep our minds healthy as we age it is the same as keeping our bodies healthy, which includes a healthy diet, daily exercise, quality sleep, and minimizing our anxiety caused from stress.
You’ve probably heard a common myth that it takes 21 days to form a habit.
Yes, it is a myth. This claim originated in the 1950’s out of research a plastic surgeon conducted where he found it took people about 21 days to become more accustomed to their new face. One magazine published this, and then another, and now 70 years later we’re still believing it. According to more recent research, it takes on average approximately 66 days to form a habit (Lally, van Jaarsveld, Potts, & Wardle, 2009).
Relating this to quarantine time, if this lifestyle lasts another 3 weeks, then we will cross that habit-forming threshold. Right now, most of us still can’t wait for the day when we can see our friends and family again and even go back to work. But give it some time and we might become a little too accustomed to our quarantine routines.