During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may face many new challenges in your recovery. Orders to stay at home or to maintain social distances from others can add to everyone’s stress levels. When you are in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, it becomes even more of a struggle. April is actually Stress Awareness Month and is a good time to look at how people in recovery are dealing with coronavirus.
Coping in Isolation
In recovery, it may seem more difficult to cope with the stress factors involved during the coronavirus outbreak. You are either isolated at home or you are going to work as an essential employee and are always required to maintain an appropriate social distance from others. As alone as you may feel during this time, you are definitely not alone. Almost everyone on the planet is struggling with the same stressors.
You are also not alone in your recovery. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimates that one in twelve adults in the US had a substance abuse disorder in the past year. It has also been estimated that alcohol sales were up more than 50% in the past several weeks. Now is not the time to be tempted to turn to drugs or alcohol to cope. There are other more productive and healthier ways to cope while you are in isolation.
Alleviate Boredom with a New Routine
Routines have been disrupted by COVID-19. You are no longer able to go out to see a movie or enjoy dinner with friends at your favorite restaurant. You may even be bored at home. Experts are finding that even those people who are able to continue working are experiencing shorter attention spans brought on by stress and worrying. In fact, as you experience more stress from the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, the more you are at risk for losing your ability to focus and find meaning.
In recovery, boredom can present triggers for your addictive behaviors. Now is the time to create a new routine for yourself that can help alleviate your boredom in a positive way. You can also combat boredom, says Erin Westgate, a professor of psychology at the University of Florida, by reminding yourself “that isolation is a form of community service.” Think of staying at home and social distancing as positive and meaningful, as a way to help others during the pandemic.
Virtual Support Group Meetings
Part of your new routine may be to attend support group meetings online. While you probably miss the personal contact, virtual meetings are the next best thing and will help you in your recovery as you deal with coronavirus. Most national organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous offer secure, confidential meetings online so you can continue to get the support you need from others sharing the same experiences during COVID-19.
Another part of your new routine should be keeping physically fit, which will help you manage your stress and your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak. Go for a walk and get some fresh air if you have an appropriate walking trail available to you. Just keep your distance from others along the way. You can also take advantage of many fitness videos or online sessions that are now being made available for people to get some exercise while staying at home.
Include time for meditation in your new routine as you are dealing with coronavirus restrictions. Meditation, along with mindfulness practices such as yoga, have been shown to:
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Improve attention and awareness
- Reduce cravings
- Improve your mood
- Encourage non-judgmental attitude that helps promote healing and recovery.
When you are in recovery and dealing with coronavirus, you have options available to you for continued treatment as well. Telehealth, providing healthcare services via secure video or phone calls, is becoming more prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth over a secured line is HIPAA compliant so you can be assured that your information will remain confidential. Getting the help you need during this stressful time is critical to your continued successful recovery.
Contact Recovery Without Walls for Addiction Treatment During COVID-19
At Recovery Without Walls, we continue to care about you and your addiction recovery throughout the coronavirus outbreak. While our physical office may be closed during the state’s orders to stay at home, we are available to speak with you via phone, video conference, and email. As always, we continue to personalize your treatment based on evidence-informed research, exceptional psychotherapy, nutritional support, and integrative healing methods designed to treat your whole body. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.