The world has almost come to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The effects of this disease are widespread and shocking. It spans many facets of life. Maintaining sobriety during the coronavirus pandemic is one of such.
The coronavirus pandemic has dealt a hard blow to people who need addiction treatment. This adverse effect is pretty obvious. Unfortunately, there are many reasons why this is the case.
It is well known that people struggling with addiction need support. Social distancing to curb the spread of this virus is critical. However, this isolation does not help with sobriety.
Sadly, there have been job losses, a reduction in access to mental health care, disruption in friendships, and inability to engage in hobbies. As you can imagine, these can hurt your recovery journey.
There have been quite a few reports of increasing sales in liquor stores. Before requests for social distancing, some cannabis dispensaries had lines around the block. What this means is that people are stocking up on substances.
As we know, the more drugs and alcohol you have around you, the more likely you are to use. Many people are relapsing due to the current situation.
So, how do you maintain your sobriety during the coronavirus pandemic?
Social connections are at a minimum during this unprecedented time. Things we once took for granted are now luxuries.
Just a few months ago, who would have thought this current situation would be the new normal? But here we are! – dealing with this day by day. Indeed, this has been a shock to everyone.
It is, however, essential for you to stay connected. Even though social distancing is necessary, we can still connect. There are other means of staying in touch. For now, text messaging, chats, phone calls, and video conferencing will have to work.
Sending out a few text messages for support can make all the difference. A quick phone call or even video chat is priceless in times like this. Virtual meetings with your sponsor or support group goes a long way.
At this time, there are several online recovery meetings you can attend virtually. All you need is a computer and an internet connection. Joining such meetings is usually easy. Clicking on a link is all you need to do in most cases. For example, you can connect with an AA Meeting here.
In addition, social distancing does not mean you cannot meet up. Some neighborhoods and friends are known to meet up appropriately. These include wearing a mask and keeping apart from yourselves. The recommendation is keeping a distance of at least six feet apart.
It is essential to avoid large gatherings at this time. We hear of neighborhoods where people get out in front of their homes and sit in their chairs at least 6 feet apart. The goal is to keep that human interaction going. It is important always to follow the recommended guidelines to minimize the spread of this disease.
Despite the ongoing trend, staying connected is vital. Ensure you keep in touch with supportive family members, friends, or sponsors.A key to addiction recovery is connection.Click To Tweet
A lockdown means we are home all day, all week with family. Even though this has some benefits, problems may arise. This scenario is more evident during tough times like these.
Unfortunately, being in such close contact round the clock can make some problems more apparent. Non-issues may suddenly become problems.
Many families agree this social distancing period helps with bonding. Sadly, though, some others are experiencing more discord. Domestic abuse cases seem to be more common. So is child abuse. There is also an increase in the effects of secondhand drinking. Boredom, frustration, and “cabin fever” may all be contributing to these.
As such, we must make attempts to make our home relationships work. Let us all be more tolerant of one another. We can also find ways to make “space” for ourselves even though we are all confined to our homes. A little more compassion for others and ourselves will go a long way. Support from family is crucial for sobriety during the coronavirus pandemic.
The social isolation that comes with these peculiar times can affect your mental health. In turn, this can lead to struggles with sobriety during the coronavirus pandemic.
The COVID-19 situation has led to the worsening of many people’s mental health. Anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder are some of such conditions. Isolation is a breeding ground for loneliness, negative thoughts, and depression.
As you know, the coronavirus pandemic has lead to widespread panic all over the world. There is a constant fear of contracting the virus. Additionally, there is also a scarcity mentality with this pandemic. Due to this mindset, hoarding and paranoia have become the new normal.
People are anxious, scared, and always on edge. The fear for most people is personal, but also for family members. Worries about elderly parents and family members with medical conditions are genuine.
These worries are not helpful for anyone’s mental health. Not surprisingly, it makes sobriety during the coronavirus pandemic harder.
Even though many clinics are not open at this time, there is always the option of telepsychiatry. These virtual visits involve seeing a mental health professional over the internet using a live video call. Thus, computers, tablets, and cell phones directly connect you to mental health or addiction services.
Exercise is often overlooked as a valuable component of recovery. In this COVID-19 era, the importance of exercising seems to come up even less. This relegation is, however, not surprising. The death tolls, illness, fear, and widespread panic certainly is at the forefront.
Additionally, there are many other concerning issues. Some of these include:
Despite the severe restrictions at this time, it is crucial to maintain a regular exercise routine. As well as the physical benefits, exercise also helps with your mental health. Studies show that exercising has significant benefits to those in recovery.
You may no longer be able to go to the gym or attend group exercise sessions. There are, however, other ways you can get your exercise going.
Consider having regular walks while maintaining social distancing. Being out in the open can do wonders for you. Many of us are guilty of having treadmills, ellipticals, and spin bikes, which we rarely use. Consider dusting these up and getting regular workouts.
Family football, basketball, and soccer around the house can give you a good work out. Additionally, this can help with bonding. If you are into boxing or martial arts, regular workouts on the punching bag can be fulfilling. There are also a ton of online exercise routines that can be done from the comfort of your home. Dancing and yoga are great indoor activities.
Engaging in regular exercise will help with maintaining your sobriety during the coronavirus pandemic.
Loneliness and lack of structure can lead to too much time on your hands. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many workplaces are closed. While some people can work from home, many have lost their jobs. A sad situation, indeed.
So, what do you do with all the time on your hands? You can’t go out like you used to. Several places of interest have shut down. Many hobbies have come to a halt as a result. How do you handle this?
One of the ways you can help with your recovery journey is getting a hobby. Even though these are very different times, it is still essential to find a hobby that gives you joy and keeps you occupied. There are hobbies you can do indoors, around your home, and online. Such engagement certainly helps with sobriety during the coronavirus pandemic.
Some regions have recorded an increase in the purchase of alcohol and cannabis. It is not surprising that that will likely be an increase in the consumption of substances during this period. More time on your hands, boredom, loneliness, family disputes can lead to relapse. Additionally, some people may develop a dependence on drugs and alcohol during this period.
The importance of keeping busy and entertained at this time cannot be over-emphasized. One sure way is to find ways to continue with previous hobbies or to find new ones.
Social media is a double-edged sword. It has lots of positives as well as negatives. In these peculiar times, though, social media plays a huge role in recovery. One such application is in aftercare treatment.
Following discharge from residential treatment facilities, aftercare follow-up is crucial. This level of care can involve intensive outpatient programs, partial hospitalization programs, and other support groups. At this time, however, there have been cancellations of many of these programs.
A lack of community support can severely affect all the hard work you’ve done in residential treatment. Hence, the need for ongoing support. Social media has a role to play here.
There are tons of support groups on social media. Facebook has several addiction support groups that offer help in maintaining sobriety.
Inspiring Addiction Recovery is a brand new support group that I started in April 2020. This community is for you if you are struggling with drugs, alcohol, or other addictions. It is also for people in recovery who wish to continue in their sobriety. Family members who have loved ones struggling with addiction will also benefit.
Every day, Inspiring Addiction Recovery will provide free resources, tools, and techniques to help you free yourself from addictions. It will also help you with your recovery journey, so you can enjoy life and maximize your potential.
As we all try to make sense of these strange times, do what you can to maintain your sobriety. Stay connected, exercise regularly, work on your relationships, manage your mental health, get a hobby, and use social media positively.
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The entire content of AddictionBlueprint, including content on drugs and alcohol, medications, therapies, facilities, spotlights, recommendations, and other features is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This does not constitute a physician-patient relationship. Please seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers regarding your addiction, mental and medical issues.
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