As people continue to stay home and practice social distancing to protect themselves and others from the coronavirus, some may be more vulnerable to mental health struggles or destructive coping behaviors than others.
For those on the path to recovery from gambling problems, the addition of isolation, stress, and financial uncertainty combined with easy, unlimited access to online gambling may jeopardize positive progress. The following strategies can help people avoid online gambling and continue to work toward recovery.
- Reach out to recovery groups and treatment services. Traditionally held in-person, meetings for groups like Gamblers Anonymous and SMART Recovery are now offered online. Telehealth appointments with treatment specialists and counselors may be online or over the phone. Find support services.
- Spend time in healthy ways. Learning something new, exercising, or practicing mindfulness are all constructive activities and can be positive outlets for stress. New to mindfulness? Learn more about mindfulness practices.
- Consider tools to block online gambling access. If the urge to gamble becomes too great, implement tools like Gamban to block access to online gambling sites on all digital devices.
- Set a routine. Following a schedule can bring stability and balance to daily life, helping to reduce anxiety that can lead to unhealthy choices.
- Connect with friends and family. Frequent contact with loved ones, especially during these uncertain times, is important for overall well-being. Friends and family can support those in recovery by joining them in alternative activities and encouraging continued recovery efforts.
For information on responsible gambling practices, visit BeforeYouBet.org.