Addiction recovery is a challenging endeavor in itself, but it can seem that much more difficult to manage your recovery during a pandemic. Lockdowns and the temporary closure of counseling facilities can lead to feelings of abandonment. Even in these situations, it’s important to remember you’re not as alone as you may think. This is a guide to help you through this trying time.
Create a Strict Routine
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Treatment often provides you with a strict routine, provided by caregivers. The structure continues after you get home, but most of it is gone during a lockdown. In this case, you can and should create your own schedule. Separate your day into blocks of time, and ensure you always have something to do. The more activities you assign yourself, the less time you’ll have to dwell on feelings of depression or anxiety. You’ll also have less idle time to think about your cravings.
Maintain Emotional Connections
Getting sober relies heavily on forming healthy bonds with those outside of your immediate family. In fact, you probably developed healthy friendships with other recovering addicts during your time in an addiction treatment facility. This is the ideal time to strengthen those friendships and to reach out to those in your life who understand the challenges you’re facing. While you can’t get together for face to face encounters right now, you can still use digital communication to stay in touch. Even video conferencing can be used. Maintaining emotional bonds will help you refrain from feelings of loneliness.
Use Virtual Counseling
Meeting in person isn’t always possible at the moment, but there are virtual addiction treatment resources that you can use as a temporary replacement. Among other online resources, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous offer online counseling sessions to recovering addicts in need of support. At We Level Up, we offer resources and coaching in several modalities. When you use your social media platforms, you can also find supportive groups. There are live meetings for recovering addicts who are collectively managing their recovery. Often, getting sober and staying clean relies on this type of social support, so don’t be afraid to reach out to groups to see if they’re accepting new members.
Look After Your Physical and Emotional Health
Even though the gym is closed, you can still engage in physical activity to protect your overall health. When you were in a treatment facility to get help for your addiction, your freedom was similarly limited. In general, you can do any type of exercise or relaxation activities that you did in treatment. That includes meditation and yoga as well as jogging or lifting weights. You can look for new ways to exercise your body and relax your mind as well. You can buy a bicycle or take up hiking. There’s no limit to how much time you spend outdoors as long as you’re social distancing, and getting some fresh air does wonders for the mind.
You can use this guide to help you pursue your recovery independently, which will help strengthen your resolve. Even when you do have moments of weakness, calling a counselor or using an online counseling service can help you get through a rough patch. Eventually, the pandemic will be resolved and the services upon which you rely will resume, but, in the meantime, create your own strategy for staying clean and sober.