Are you currently struggling to stay sober during COVID-19? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone and we’re here to help. Below are some addiction recovery tips for you to practice.
Staying sober during difficult times is hard for anyone in any stage of recovery. There have been so many things going on in the world today that you may feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster. The Coronavirus pandemic is a perfect example of something out of your control yet causing strife around the world.
With news media reporting rising numbers of COVID-19 related illnesses and deaths, it is only normal to worry and stressed.
For many, the go-to method of coping with stress is to use drugs or alcohol. While it doesn’t help long-term, it did provide a temporary escape. As you learned, the temporary escape does not last long, and instead of making things better, you created more problems for yourself.
Now that you are in recovery, preventing relapse is a top priority. It should remain a priority even when the world is facing a pandemic.
Below are addiction recovery tips to stay sober during COVID-19.
1. Be Honest With Yourself
You may have been raised to be strong and to avoid showing your emotions or weaknesses. You may have even been told to “suck it up and keep going.” While the intent behind these statements is well-meaning, they don’t help you stay sober during COVID-19.
That’s because when you try to convince yourself to be something you are not, you are avoiding what is right, that you are struggling.
In recovery, struggles are going to happen. It is okay to admit you are struggling. When you are honest with yourself, you can acknowledge that willpower alone does not work. Seeking help does.
2. Seek Sober Community Support
You are not alone in your struggle to stay sober during COVID-19. If you join a sober community, even one online, you will meet many others who understand what you are going through. They have been addicts, they have gotten sober, and they are doing what it takes to maintain sobriety.
Research shows being a part of a recovery community has many benefits. You make a connection with others, you can get advice from others in recovery, and you don’t feel judged. You feel less lonely and stay more motivated to avoid relapse.
Sober communities are happening virtually from online AA and NA groups to more specific groups like victims of abuse, depression, anxiety, and more.
Virtual outpatient care services like this are available through local providers, too, so when the pandemic is over, you can get face-to-face support if needed. Finding a community is one of the most important addiction recovery tips to remember.
3. Virtual Care Services
When looking for a local provider that provides virtual care, please look at their services before signing on. To stay sober during COVID-19, engage in virtual care services with a state-licensed and accredited facility to provide them.
Intensive outpatient services offer multiple treatment methods that are individualized for your unique needs. You can receive many of the treatments each week while you need more intensive support, like right after you leave rehab or when on the verge of relapsing.
Support services include cognitive and dialectical behavior therapies, anger management, life skills, art therapy, and communication skills.
These same services are offered through a Partial Hospitalization Program, which gives you five or six hours of treatment every weekday. Here you are provided with education on how to maintain recovery and support from peers and therapists.
Virtual care should also include treatment for any other disorders that accompany your addiction. Most addicts suffer from other ailments like depression, anxiety, and bipolar. You can get online therapy for these as well as help staying sober during COVID-19.
4. Make Yourself a Priority
One of the most important addiction recovery tips is to remember that our mental health and physical health are directly connected. If one is out of balance, the other will likely be out of balance.
Making yourself a priority to stay sober during a pandemic is essential for success. You can start by following a regular sleep schedule. Sleep is directly connected to mental and physical wellness. During sleep, your brain can restore your mind and body to good health.
You can also focus on eating a nutritious diet. Researchers have found the neurotransmitters that make us feel good are located in the gut, as well as the brain. So, what you eat really can affect your mood.
Exercising is an excellent distraction from cravings. And when you exercise, endorphins are released. These are your natural pain-relieving chemicals. That’s why people who exercise say they always feel better after exercising. They felt the effects of endorphins.
If you exercise outside, you are also getting the benefits of the Sun, like vitamin D that can boost Serotonin, another feel-good chemical released in your brain and gut.
Further, practice alternative therapies like yoga, acupressure, acupuncture, and meditation.
Pay attention to the activities that make you feel good and the ones that don’t. For example, if watching the news makes you feel stressed, quit watching the news.
5. Structure is Good
While suffering with addiction, you know that having down-time, feeling bored, or just sitting around can lead to thoughts of relapse. Keeping a structured lifestyle can help you avoid this. Structured means you have a plan for every hour of every day.
You can do this even when you are trying to stay sober during COVID-19, even if you are stuck at home. Create a written calendar that you can hang on the fridge or anywhere you will see it often. From the time you awake to the time you go to sleep, give yourself a task for each hour.
Activities can include cleaning the house, cooking, eating, working on a hobby, exercising, attending work, completing repairs around the home, calling people on your list of support, and attending virtual meetings with therapists and peers.
A schedule holds you accountable and helps you track your progress.
Finally, stay connected. It can be easy during a pandemic to want to isolate until it all goes away. Stay connected with positive people who want you to succeed in recovery.
With these addiction recovery tips, you can stay sober during COVID-19 and be successful in recovery.
The Lakehouse Recovery Center provides a recovery community for all of those looking for support. If you or a loved one is suffering, contact our team today. Our team consists of individuals who are all going through recovery themselves, and can help you on your path towards recovery.