“Believe you can and you’re already halfway there.”
– Teddy Roosevelt
Your recovery from substance addiction is an incredible accomplishment. While it wasn’t an easy road, you made an important decision to put your health and sobriety first. But when you’re in addiction recovery, it’s natural to worry about relapsing and losing all the progress you’ve made. But relapsing doesn’t just happen overnight.
There’s a saying about addiction relapse: It’s that relapse doesn’t happen because of the substance, but instead occurs when you feel like your life has become unmanageable.
One of the most common causes for someone to think their life is unmanageable is the feeling of being isolated. Staying connected when you’re in recovery is important. Unfortunately, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has made social connections more difficult. Between stay-at-home orders, social distancing and business shutdowns, it’s significantly easier to feel alone.
Even though we find ourselves in unprecedented times, you have the power to stay focused and avoid relapse. There are healthy ways to manage the anxiety, stress and worries you’re experiencing. In this post, we’re going to show you how you can avoid relapse during social isolation.
First and Foremost, Practice Good Self-Care
When major parts of our communities are shut down, it’s easy to let some parts of your self-care fall off. But it’s important for your addiction recovery to invest time into your physical and mental health. Practicing good self-care can help you reduce stress and keep your mind busy, giving you less time to focus on any feelings of isolation or loneliness.
If you need help getting started, some good self-care habits include:
• Making sure you get a good night’s sleep each day. Shoot for at least seven hours a night.
• Get some exercise every day. It doesn’t have to be a strenuous workout. Even a walk outside makes a difference.
• Find a hobby you’re interested in and do it. Learning and doing something you’re passionate about is a great way to make each day more fulfilling.
• Do your best to maintain a healthy diet and eat three full meals a day.
• At the beginning or end of each day, write down at least three things you’re thankful for. Gratitude is one of your mood’s best allies.
Social Isolation Doesn’t Have to Stop You from Connecting
When businesses are closed and gatherings are banned, it’s easy to feel like your world is completely closed off. And that mindset is dangerous for your recovery and can lead to relapse. But social isolation doesn’t have to stop you from being connected. In fact, there are plenty of ways to recapture social connection.
1. Host a Zoom Call with Friends and Family
You might not be able to meet in person, but technology has you covered. Reach out to your friends and family to schedule a Zoom call where everyone can get together. Zoom is a video conferencing app that has seen major growth in the wake of COVID-19. Scheduling a weekly call with your loved ones can give you something to look forward to.
2. Attend an Online Recovery Meeting
When you’re in recovery, sometimes you need to talk to someone who knows what you’re going through. You might want insight on how to manage cravings or negative thoughts and emotions. The good news is there are plenty of online recovery meetings you can attend.
A great place to start is a website called In The Rooms. It’s an online community for people in addiction recovery. Every day, there are at least 45 meetings you can attend. From 12-step meetings to SMART recovery, In The Rooms has a wide variety of topics that can help you get through this difficult time.
There’s no doubt that COVID-19 is making us all feel a little more isolated. And when you’re isolated, negative thought patterns and emotions can gain momentum, dragging down your mood. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, as we all have times were negative thoughts get the best of us. What matters is how your respond to them.
Meditation is a way for your mind to reset while helping you feel more connected to the world around you. By focusing all your attention on the present moment, stress and negative emotions begin to fade away. Plus, by working on the relationship with yourself, you can help minimize the impact of isolation. While it might seem a little intimidating at first, YouTube has plenty of guided meditation videos to get you started.
Doing all you can to prevent relapse during this time is one of the most important things you can do for your recovery. The recommendations we listed above are all relapse prevention strategies that can help. But if you need more support on your recovery journey, you’re not alone.
Need Help with Addiction Relapse? Turn to Silver Maple Recovery.
If you’re recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction in Ohio, Silver Maple Recovery can help you heal from substance abuse without judgment. Whether you need some extra support in recovery or have recently relapsed, our expert addiction team is here for you. They have years of local experience with addiction and can provide the personalized care needed to meet your unique situation.
COVID-19 has been hard on all of us, and it’s difficult not to feel isolated and alone. But it’s important to remember that Silver Maple Recovery is still here to walk alongside you on your recovery journey. And if you’re uncomfortable leaving home, we offer outpatient tele-health programs that let you get treatment from the comfort of your own home. Our tele-health program includes individual counseling, IOP and PHP outpatient treatment that you can access from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
Reaching your recovery goals does not have to be a lonely and isolating process. Contact our team today. We have professional addiction caregivers ready to help get you started and hear your story 24/7.