No one expected for the entire world to shut down at the beginning of 2020- it was supposed to be a new decade full of new opportunities, adventures, and living life to the fullest. For many individuals worldwide, this came to a screeching halt when COVID-19 hit, causing massive lockdowns and quarantines around the world. The emotional and mental exhaust that comes with this quarantine is unprecedented. It has made maintaining sobriety especially hard for those who have gone through addiction prior to the pandemic. Memes about day drinking and virtual happy hours on Zoom are everywhere. Boredom can lead to thoughts of using drugs or alcohol again. To keep you on the right track and maintain sobriety, here are 8 tips to stay sober during the COVID-19 quarantine.
Have a Set Daily Routine
Even though you may be working from home or just stuck at home all the time, make sure you still have a daily routine to follow. Wake up consistently at the same time, even on the weekends. Eat nutritious meals, exercise, work, and take time for yourself. This will help you keep up with the days as they pass by since it can be easy to lose track of them in quarantine. Keeping a daily schedule not only keeps you in the loop, but it also keeps you busy. This will help you maintain sobriety so you are not sitting around bored, with nothing to do.
As stated before, boredom can be a dangerous trigger to your sobriety. In fact, it is one of the most common causes of relapse. Even if you have a daily routine, you may find times during your day when there is a lull. Fill these gaps with sober activities you enjoy doing such as exercising, meditating, watching a movie, calling a friend, or trying a new recipe. The important thing is to keep social distancing but finding ways to fill the time.
Just like boredom, isolation is a common trigger of relapse. During quarantine, it can be extremely easy to isolate yourself as you practice social distancing. Keep yourself connected with friends and family through technology such as texting, calling, and video calls. Having the comfort of loved ones present, even through a screen, will do wonders for you in maintaining sobriety.
If you are in quarantine with family members or roommates, you have probably noticed that everyone is coping with the situation differently. Stress, depression, and restlessness are common as people strive to return to “normal” life. Establishing boundaries with the other people in your household will keep your mental health in good spirits and keep the peace in the house. If you find yourself feeling stressed, depressed, or anxious, take time to yourself. You don’t have to apologize for looking after your mental health and maintaining your sobriety.
Stress is a common emotion that takes place during the quarantine. You may feel yourself wanting to go out and return to life as you knew it, but unfortunately, this isn’t possible. The negative news can also cause stress and anxiety, especially being flooded with it every day while you are stuck at home. A great way to combat these feelings is by meditating. Meditating helps you relax, find peace, and practice self-awareness. You can reflect during your meditation on life and how sober life has saved you. If you need help getting started, try a guided meditation online. There are tons of videos to help you.
Attend Online Therapy
If you find yourself needing some extra support in quarantine, consider signing up for online therapy. Sessions are conducted over the phone or by video call, allowing you to talk to a mental health professional about your anxiety, depression, and anything else that is bothering you. Together, you can create a plan to keep you sober and improve your mental health in quarantine.
Attend Online Meetings
Since many support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and more cannot meet in person, the groups have moved their meetings to online sessions via Zoom or other applications. These support groups are extremely helpful for helping recovered addicts in maintaining sobriety. You can attend these meetings easily and discuss the stresses of quarantine with like-minded sober individuals.
Remember to Call Your Sponsor
Because it is quarantine, it isn’t safe to meet in person with your sponsor. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t reach out to them. They are there for you when you are struggling and need to talk. If you find yourself in a tough spot or having a string of bad days, call or text your sponsor to talk about what’s going on. They can give you the proper support to get you through this difficult time.
We at Northstar Transitions have not been immune to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand just how stressful it can be to be in quarantine constantly, wishing that things would go back to normal. The effects of this crazy time in the world have been drastic for those trying to maintain sobriety. While difficult, staying sober while in quarantine is possible. You have to find the daily motivation and encouragement to stay sober and constantly remind yourself of all the things being sober has given you. Taking the proper steps to ensure you are healthily coping with triggers, reaching out to others for support, and sticking to a daily routine can help you maintain sobriety while in quarantine. Remember that these times are tough, but you are tougher. You can make it through and you will come out the other side even stronger than ever. Don’t give up. For more information and advice about COVID-19 and addiction recovery, call us today at (303) 558-6400.