08/04/2020 by Diana Diver
Recovery and Sobriety During The COVID-19 Crisis
Across the United States, social distancing and shelter-in-place are new ways of life for most of us. How our lives have changed in a few short months was unimaginable when we rang in the new year of 2020. As the nation continues to use social distancing as a preventative measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19, many people in early and long-term sobriety are wondering how to stay engaged and involved in their own recovery process.
For so many people and families who have been impacted by addiction, they know the importance of staying active in their recovery community. But how to do this when in-person meetings may be canceled and uncertainty is taxing our physical, emotional, and spiritual health?
Here are some tips to address your physical, emotional, and spiritual health while staying engaged in your recovery.
- Find meetings online: Look for virtual meetings since many in-person meetings are canceled.
- Website: https://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/find-aa-resources
- AA online virtual meetings via chat room: https://aachats.org (note, these are not monitored by AA and you need to sign up with an email to participate)
- NA virtual and phone meetings: https://www.na.org/?ID=virtual_meetings
- Find phone meetings:
- Alanon Meetings: https://al-anon.org/al0anon-meetings/electronic-meetings/
- NA phone meetings: https://www.na.org/meetingsearch/ (search by area code)
- Create Chat Rooms: Start your own chat group! If you are a sponsor or have a sponsor, create a chat group to be able to stay connected, see faces and know you are not alone. Include individuals who are new to recovery and may not have developed a strong sober support network.
- Get Active: It’s a well-known fact that nature, sunshine, and getting outside increases brain chemistry, helps settle your nervous system, and makes you feel happy. So practice safe precautions and stay 6 feet away from others but go outside. Spring is here. Take your dog for a walk. Enjoy the sunshine. Listen to the birds. You can also increase your dopamine levels by exercising. Try free online videos to watch and workout. If you like to work out with others, then Skype/Facetime with your friends.
- Try New Things: Be mindful of being bored. Plan your day so you don’t fall back in old patterns of isolating or doing nothing. Watch online concerts or a Broadway play. Take a virtual tour of a museum. Read a book. Try a new recipe.
- Watch your diet: Try to eat from all the basic food groups. Watch your binging on junk food. Drink plenty of water. Be mindful of your caffeine intake.
- Sponsorship and the fellowship: Everyone needs to feel connected. We know recovery is strengthened by human connection and support. Have a list of 1-5 people to reach out to daily. Call and ask someone else how they are doing. If you are feeling alone or isolated, reach out. Sometimes just having someone to listen to your thoughts and emotions is enough to change an old pattern into a new one.
- Therapy: Many therapists and outpatient programs are creating ways to set up phone and video sessions. Talk to your therapist or call a program and ask if they can set up a session.
- Be creative: Pick a project you want to try. Some people are working in the yard or tackling projects that have been on that "honey do" list for a long time. Others are painting, drawing, writing, or crocheting.
- Watch things that are funny! When you laugh, you release chemicals in your brain that make you feel better.
While this is a time that each one of us is facing uncertainty, remember YOU ARE NOT ALONE!