4 tips if you are working from home and struggling with porn amidst COVID-19

Written by Shawn Bonneteau

March 24, 2020

working from home during COVID19

If your life has been shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic, and your work has transitioned to a home office, you may be waking up with new struggles that you have never experienced before… One of those struggles is likely the temptation to numb, and one of the “go-to” coping mechanisms in such situations is internet pornography.

 

Why would someone look to numb in such a time, isn’t working from home the best thing since sliced bread? Well, working from home has its perks, but it can cause some serious emotions to flare up from triggers we may not be used to feeling during a common workday. With all the news feeds jammed full of updates on how bad things are looking, its easy to feel a sense of overwhelm in this season of life.

When I say “emotional flare-up”, what I mean is that you now have so much more to deal with, likely, without knowing it. You have to be self-motivated, focused on the work task at hand, on a strict schedule to have a work-life balance, able to work solo without community, and one of the hardest things – distancing yourself from family so you can get work done, but all the while being in the same house.

There are many more struggles that come with working from home, but lets just focus in on what they can all lead to – Negative thoughts, emotions, and beliefs that can lead to a desire to numb.

These desires to numb mixed in with the shocking stats of how many people are watching porn regularly inevitably equal an increase in porn addiction… How so? Well, when someone is experiencing new emotional triggers (from being home from work), they may feel angry, fearful, purposeless, bored, and/or overwhelmed… These are all root emotions that often lead people to seeking out and watching porn.

Why does this matter? Because if you are working from home, you likely have more things to do each day (at work and around the house), topped with a greater pressure to perform, all the while having more time to be left alone with your computer to get into unhealthy things such as porn or tempting social media posts with nobody to hold you accountable.

When I say “emotional flare-up”, what I mean is that you now have so much more to deal with, likely, without knowing it. You have to be self-motivated, focused on the work task at hand, on a strict schedule to have a work-life balance, able to work solo without community, and one of the hardest things – distancing yourself from family so you can get work done, but all the while being in the same house.


Here are 4 tips to help you stay focused and
healthy while working from home:

  • Set yourself up for success:

Now is the time to plan, not for how much food you need to outlast the coronavirus, but planning how you are going to combat the emotions that may drive you to watch porn and relapse… I would recommend having a daily plan that you set up the night prior so you are ready and prepared as soon as you wake up.
You may have some key things planned such as your morning routine, a set work schedule, a healthy exercise in between, your meal plan, a healthy stress reviver if the day gets hard, a chance to see your family, and so on… Being motivated by a purpose will help keep you from getting to the point of feeling the burn to numb. It will also be wise to plan your evenings, or off work hours, especially the ones where you may be tempted by boredom or lack of anything “better” to do. Getting to bed at a regular time will be incredibly helpful in ensuring you don’t get caught up in being up late looking at things you know are going to be detrimental to your life.

It would also be a good idea to get yourself some accountability. Not because accountability is the answer to overcoming pornography, but because it adds a layer of protection that you likely had built in while at work. Here is a link to Covenant Eyes, which is in my opinion, a top notch resource for not only web filtering but for screen monitoring and total accountability with all things you view. You are going to want to talk to a few trusted friends of the same gender and have them become your “allies”. Now, these people aren’t just there for you to tell when you relapse… Find yourself a couple of key people who you know will ask you about the deeper issue behind why you sought out porn instead of a healthy alternative…

 

  • Take care of yourself:

We live in a culture that has lost its understanding of what pleasure truly is… Think about this for a moment, maybe you worked hard all day, hit a goal, accomplished something important, so you choose to “celebrate” with something that actually makes you feel sick… Sex, porn, alcohol, food, sugar, etc… These have become the norm in the world of pleasure today, but really, are they pleasuring?
In this season of COVID-19, I want to challenge you to truly take care of yourself. As you are working from home, you will likely hit goals, accomplish things, feel the need to celebrate or let off some steam… This is the time to ask yourself the question, “What would be authentically pleasuring to me right now?”. You may be surprised to learn that the things we often do for “pleasure” are actually trash compared to what we truly want/need. “Authentic pleasure” is fulfilling, but so often, we seek “pleasure” that is so far from what we actually want/need because we are numbing something below the surface.

So its time to take care of yourself because you deserve so much better than trash. You deserve to feel authentic pleasure and you deserve to experience the fulfilment it brings. Try a walk around the park with your favourite music, have a hot bath with some epsom salts, watch something funny on YouTube and laugh, try making an exotic meal and enjoy the gift of making something new, buy a comfy office chair so you are reminded that you love yourself every time you sit on it, etc… there are so many things that will actually bring authentic pleasure if we just think to ourselves “What is actually going to fulfil me right now”.

 

  • Identify your triggers:

What really sets you off? Are there certain circumstances that cause you more stress, strain, anxiety, or fear than other ones? It would be wise to take some time to write the triggers that send you into an emotional tailspin. Sure, some of them may be tough circumstances that seem justifiable, and some may past trauma getting brought back up, but some may simply be a revealing that you have an unhealthy outlook on life… Its so important to do this so you can live proactively, rather than living in reaction.

To identify a trigger, you may need to look back at the last couple days and think to yourself, “What caused me to feel fear?”; “What was I feeling the last time I relapsed?”; “Who in my life makes me feel stressed?”, etc… There are so many revealing questions you can ask, so begin asking… You will be surprised at how much gets revealed!

 

  • Change how you react to your triggers:

To piggyback off of the last point, here are the steps to changing how you react.

Begin with the negative – Write out your triggers, what you think after the trigger, how these thoughts make you feel, and then what these feelings lead you to do. Then, take some time and visualize and write out a positive response to the trigger… To change the response, you would begin with creating a positive thought, then imagine what that thought would make you feel like, then think about how that would lead you to act. Begin putting this into practice now by reviewing past situations where you didn’t react so well, so that the next time that trigger occurs, you will be prepared to respond differently.

 

We are here to help:
At Secret Habit, we want to add value in this season to anyone going through a hard time. We are happy to offer resource recommendations, access to our programs, and even mentoring if we are available. Please reach out if you are in need of help, we will do what we can to ensure you leave with something concrete to begin doing so you can find the freedom you deserve

As you may see, our take on helping someone overcome pornography addiction is much more about the internal than the external. We are all about helping someone change their lifestyle and seek what is good, rather than constantly avoid what is bad… If you knew how amazing life is without porn, then you would be doing whatever it took to get free from it – This is why Secret Habit exists and I hope you have found this blog helpful… we truly care and that’s why we do what we do

PS:
Stay tuned for more blogs and videos to help you during the COVID-19 pandemic. Obviously these teachings are relevant all the time, but they are even more needed in this time! We are happy to answer any questions you may have, or point you in the right direction to get further help with your specific need.

Change the way you react to triggers.. 

Write out your triggers, what you think after the trigger, how these thoughts make you feel, and then what these feelings lead you to do. Then, take some time and visualize and write out a positive response to the trigger… To change the response, you would begin with creating a positive thought, then imagine what that thought would make you feel like, then think about how that would lead you to act.

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