Working from home during the COVID-19 quarantine is no easy feat, especially while juggling kids, worrying about aging parents, or dealing with a spouse. And doing it all while maintaining your recovery is even tougher.
The good news is that it can be done! With virtual meetings, telemedicine, and FaceTime, you can connect with others in your journey to stay clean. Combine these technologies with meaningful, engaging activities to keep busy. Read on for useful tips to maintain your recovery during the COVID-19 quarantine!
This viral hashtag binds us all together—social distancing while remaining together in spirit. As you remain committed to your recovery, you need others to lean on. While you may be alone physically, in spirit you are one of many fighting the battle to maintain your recovery! That challenge is difficult on a good day, but we are living in an unprecedented time when stress and fear have become part of daily life.
Options for 12-Step Meetings
Now more than ever, the technology that connects us is important. While close human contact is invaluable, we’re all learning to rely on other means to socialize, work, and interact. People everywhere who are fighting addiction need 12-step meetings to maintain their recovery. While it’s not ideal, virtual meetings are replacing in-person groups while we social distance.
Online meetings and online forums will connect you with others in the recovery process and dedicated professionals. If you don’t have access to technology or you aren’t comfortable with programs like Zoom, consider options like phone support and email. Check out these resources from The National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help people in recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Time is Your Friend
Time is something we all have in abundance right now. Use it to your advantage. Instead of a weekly 12-step meeting, you may want to attend one or two virtual meetings a day. Mix it up! Try a weekly online group, then connect daily with a sponsor via Skype or email. Figure out what works for you. On a rough day, take advantage of the time you have to reach out to as many people as you need to, as often as you want, to do whatever it takes to stay on the recovery path!
Having your mental health needs met is critical while you’re in recovery. Many therapists and mental health professionals are offering teletherapy appointments and have more availability. It’s easier than ever to book an appointment when you don’t have to worry about leaving work or hiring a babysitter. Choose a time when your kids are studying or set them up with snacks and a movie. Worst case? You may be interrupted, but we’re all learning that comes with the territory!
Structure Your Day
While you’re working from home, the days can run together. You don’t need to be a schedule stickler, but at least come up with a general plan for your day. Build in breaks for meals. Choose a time for your workday to end. Make weekends stand out with something extra special like a favorite meal or family movie!
A Room of One’s Own
What’s really important while you’re hunkered down 24/7 with family or friends? Alone time. It’s more vital than ever. Pick a time of the day to be in your own space. Create a schedule to reserve a room for yourself or assign daily alone time for the entire household.
The best-case scenario is that everyone in your house refrains from using substances in your presence.
If you live with family who insist on casual drinking, ask that they keep alcohol out of the house. If your spouse partakes in a virtual happy hour, have them choose a space out of sight, such as a patio.
You may find yourself, out of necessity during the pandemic, living with people who still use. That’s a tough spot to be in. Negotiate with them if you can, but have a back-up plan in case you need to leave. Check with local shelters or religious groups such as churches and synagogues, and contact friends or extended family for a place to stay. If you feel that your recovery is at risk, reach out for help!
**Safety Reminder** As always, if you fear for your safety or you are being physically abused, call 911 immediately!
Discover a New Passion
Like we said, staying at home gives you time. A ton of it. Check out positive social media to see how people are keeping engaged and active during the COVID-19 quarantine. Most people recovering from addiction seek other outlets and new activities. Now’s the ideal time to find your jam! Consider these ideas:
- Learn a new language. Duolingo or Babbel will have you saying bon jour or guten tag in no time! Check out these online language options.
- Channel your inner Julia Child. Grab your device, type in a few ingredients you have on hand and voila, recipes galore appear! YouTube tutorials, cooking channels, and foodie sites are all great ways to help you cook that gourmet vegan meal or decadent dessert you’ve been meaning to try.
- Game changers. Uno, Monopoly, charades, Boggle…pick your favorite or try a new game! Take a look at these online options to play with friends and family.
- Get puzzled! Jigsaw puzzles are trending right now! Get the fam together around the table in the evenings. Throw in some snacks and you’ve got instant entertainment.
- Help others. While you are struggling, so are others. There’s no better feeling than helping someone else. Deliver groceries to an elderly neighbor. Donate blood. Buy a gift card from your favorite restaurant. Make a sign to thank delivery workers. Check out these inspiring ways people are helping others during the COVID-19 crisis. It doesn’t have to be big. A thoughtful gesture can mean the world to a person in need!
Whether you take a stroll around your neighborhood or find a workout online, keep moving! It’s easy to get sucked into becoming a couch potato, but remember that exercise is proven to boost success when recovering from addiction. Put on your sneakers and get those endorphins activated!
The COVID-19 quarantine will pass. People will begin to come together again. Social distancing is not a forever situation. Remember that. Be kind to yourself, get connected, and stay safe! We at The GateHouse are here to help you. Reach out to us today!