Battling and recovering from addiction during the COVID-19 pandemic makes an already difficult task even more complicated. Between increased stress levels, social isolation, and jokes of drinking the pain away, recovering addicts may struggle to maintain sobriety while quarantined at home, wondering if recovery is worth the pain and hard work. Stress and isolation can reignite old bad habits as one seeks to regain a sense of normalcy.
Despite challenges like withdrawal symptoms, quarantine-induced boredom, and coping compulsions, sobriety is an achievable and worthy goal, even during the pandemic. The keys to success are well within reach, and with these tips, recovering addicts can find victory in their battles against addiction.
Not all recovery-oriented programs are the same—many have unique approaches to recovery. A Recovery Oriented Systems of Care Model (or ROSC), for example, views recovery as a journey requiring long-term assistance and focuses on creating communities of support and solidarity.
In addition to involving loved ones, and recognizing the necessity of continual care, a recovery coach helps you stay accountable for your actions. When transitioning out of recovery-oriented programs, a recovery coach guides you through challenging triggers and negative emotions, helping you stay sober in the face of adversity. Recovery mentors can also connect individuals diagnosed with substance use disorders to beneficial resources such as therapists down the line.
Boredom is sobriety’s biggest enemy, as downtime can lead to wandering thoughts filled with cravings and triggers. Spend your time doing meaningful activities, like exercise, cooking, or painting, to resist temptation. Additionally, learning a new skill is an excellent way to decrease downtime. Consider picking up something you’ve always wanted to try out, like an instrument or go back to the basics and delve into old hobbies to sidestep idle periods.
Continued sobriety relies on setting goals and continual check-ins to remind you why you started your sober journey. Look back at your intentions and objectives, check in with your mentor, and set updated goals to keep on track during pandemic-induced alone time.
Think about the positive results of recovery, such as better mental health, and remind yourself of why you set goals of recovery initially, like reconnecting with friends and family or building a professional career.
Day-to-day structure is critical for recovering addicts, leaving less room for temptation and relapse. Likely, much of your pre-pandemic routine is no longer a viable option, so creating new habits like self-implemented bedtimes, daily walks, or planned meals can add stability during quarantine recovery.
Life is tough, and the pandemic exacerbates feelings of uncertainty or worry already present in day-to-day life. It’s important to be kind to yourself and exercise the same empathy and compassion you would extend to others. The pandemic is unprecedented, and you must recognize your small successes to keep a healthy, positive mindset.
Quarantining can make staying in touch with those you love seem difficult. However, digital communication, like phone or video calls, helps connect with family and friends even while miles apart. Drawing your support network close helps promote recovery by creating a care system encouraging you to stay healthy and goal-oriented during your recovery.
Sobriety is a life-long journey filled with highs and lows. Unfortunately, pandemic-induced stay-at-home orders have exasperated challenges with isolation and mass amounts of down-time. Luckily, there are ways to bypass bumps in the road by staying connecting to support systems, checking in with your mentor, and remaining patient and kind with yourself.