We’re living in strange times, aren’t we? It’s crazy to think just a few weeks ago we were living life normally, walking around town, hanging out with friends, hugging each other. Now, all that has changed with the latest COVID-19 outbreaks throughout the United States. There’s no doubt in our minds that this is a serious situation that requires some serious regulation and social distancing, but we can’t help but miss when life seemed a little more normal. Most of us may feel slightly inconvenienced, but there is a certain group that is at serious risk during isolation: those going through addiction recovery at home during quarantine.
For people that are going through addiction recovery, or have recently gone through recovery before quarantine, are some of the most vulnerable groups of people in isolation. What are they vulnerable to exactly? Relapse. This is a huge issue for people that had previously chosen to live a life in sobriety before this whole epidemic started. Isolation and boredom can be key culprits in relapse for someone going through the early stages of sobriety. This article is for those people who are going through this issue. There is hope and we’re here to tell you that everything is going to be okay. We’re here to help you find a good at-home recovery routine during the coronavirus quarantine.
Staying Sober During Quarantine
In order to stop the spread of this infectious disease, the CDC, WHO, and health organizations around the world have advised everyone to stay home in isolation and only travel if necessary. With those things in mind, people in recovery need a structured plan of attack to fight back against the impending boredom and cravings to relapse, falling back into addiction. Let’s talk about all the essential steps you need to take in order to sustain your recovery.
How To Avoid Relapse
Cravings to use again are not only things that come about during early recovery, but they can also come about years after a person has finished recovery. Addiction is no joke and it has a way of manipulating a person’s brain in a way that has lasting effects. Drug and alcohol cravings are not something that you can easily get rid of, you have to constantly work on coping mechanisms in order to suppress and overcome them. One way people are able to fight against these continual cravings is through therapy and recovery support groups. However, these in-person meetings are temporarily put on hold during this time of quarantine and isolation. So how do you find the support or help you need when you can’t get it in-person?
How To Support Your Recovery At Home During Quarantine
Recovery at home during quarantine is something that is strongly advised against in the recovery world, however, in this particular situation we are living with, it is an exception. There are a ton of ways that you can help nurture your recovery while living in quarantine and we are going to lay out some examples for you. These tips we are going to share with you are to help occupy your time in isolation in a healthy way so you can avoid relapse and continue to work on bettering yourself.
- Method #1: Attend Online Meeting – The great thing about living in the 21st Century is that the worldwide web is easily accessible and available in most parts of the world. Because of the internet, people have been innovating nearly every aspect of our lives, from the way we communicate to where we order groceries. One great thing that has come out of the internet in terms of behavioral health is online recovery meetings. Because people are unable to attend regular therapy sessions and recovery meetings, recovery networks across the U.S. have created (or has previously created) virtual telehealth services for people in need. This means people are able to regularly attend therapy sessions and recovery meetings like they did before quarantine happened. This way, they’re able to get the peer support they need during this testing time in their recovery journey.
- Method #2: Create A Schedule – One of the most important things for every former addict, even outside of coronavirus quarantine is to find and create a schedule for themselves. A schedule creates a sense of structure in a life that wad formerly without structure. Someone that lived a life in addiction most likely lived a life that was solely driven by their desire to use substances. Those kinds of lives have little to no structure which can create a lot of uncertainty and chaos in everyday life. Creating a daily schedule or laying out plans for the next day can help keep a person on a track and can help them feel more accomplished when they complete their daily tasks.
- Method #3: Find New Hobbies – Another thing the recovery community encourages every person to do throughout their journey in sobriety is to find new hobbies to pick up. Earlier, we talked about how detrimental boredom and the feeling of being stuck can be for a former addict. When they feel stuck or bored, they may get cravings to use that free time to use once again. In addiction, people often use any sort of free time to abuse drugs and/or alcohol. If you are able to fill up that time with something more productive, you can significantly decrease the chances of relapse. Pick up an instrument you’ve always wanted to learn, start a garden, create a daily journal, go on daily runs, practice yoga/meditation, start a project, whatever! There are endless possibilities for new hobbies for you to find, and quarantine is the best time to do that!
- Method #4: End Each Day With A Positive Thought (Mindfulness) – This may sound easy enough, but it’s something that we often neglect. It’s easy to get down in the dumps, especially during this whole epidemic. However, there are always bright sides to any situation. It may look grim right now, but, rest assured, things will get better. End each day with one positive thought an you’ll start to see the brighter side to every situation. There’s nothing wrong with being optimistic.
- Method #5: Stay In Contact With Loved Ones – We always encourage our sober warriors to stay in contact with loved ones, and now this sort of thing is even more important. If you are one of the many people who live on their own, it’s easy to start feeling distant from people around you. Don’t let isolation create distance in your relationships. Stay in contact with friends, family, and loved ones. We are all in this together and it’s important to have a sense of community and love, even when we are physically apart. We may be distant from each other temporarily, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still connect. Facetime, Skype, Discord, and Zoom are all great outlets to use in order to continually connect with each other.
We listed out some of the best methods to help people in recovery at home during quarantine. This is a tough time for all of us, especially those going through recovery. What’s important is that we all practice methods like these to help nurture our mental and physical health. Just because we are out of our normal routine doesn’t mean we can’t create new ones that help us continually grow physically and mentally stronger while in social isolation.
Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.