During these unprecedented times of the Covid-19 pandemic it is not only people in recovery who are struggling but also people who have been teetering on the edge of addiction. Routines and rituals have been lost which have kept people resilient and able to function.
There is also in many cases a huge amount of fear and uncertainty not only financial but fear of health. Many things have changed, one of which may be that you are spending 24 hours a day with loved ones and none of you are able to find an escape. It may well start to feel like being imprisoned and with this the need to escape may become overwhelming. The odd glass of wine before bed can become a bottle all too quickly and then get out of control.
Here are a few good tips and advice out of how to remain resilient as well as resources that are available to you. Addiction thrives in isolation and dies in community, you may have already had a substance use disorder and been connecting face to face in meetings like AA and Smart Recovery but no longer able to do so. There are online meetings happening on the free zoom platform every single day in many different time zones so at any point it is quite easy to get connected. Zoom is easily downloaded for free on a laptop or smart phone and a list of all meetings can be found on the AA or Smart Recovery websites.
Finding healthy diversions is really important if you are stuck at home this could be finding new recipes to make healthy meals, journaling, arts & crafts, hobbies etc. Avoiding isolation is also vitally important so make phone calls to friends, colleagues and relatives.
Follow the same routines that were helpful to you before COVID-19 or find replacements for activities that aren’t possible right now. Make a schedule and stick to it, it may sound trivial but actually having a plan in place however small gives us a sense of gratification once complete.
Self-care – keep to some gentle home exercise routines, use phone apps for meditation and yoga. You don’t need to become a guru but some gentle self-care can make all the difference.
Counselling – if you are struggling and need the support of a professional then reach out for some private personal 1-1 therapy. You can talk to a professional in a safe non-judgmental space even if it is over the phone or by skype or zoom. Seek medical advice if you need it don’t leave it too late.
Ask for help – there is nothing wrong in asking for help when you need it don’t wait until its too late, in fact is a really positive thing to do and shows that you are mindful of your limits and remember were all human and we all have limits so make a positive choice you don’t need to collapse or relapse.
Stress and anxiety is affecting almost everyone in this current climate so don’t feel you are alone in this and by making some positive choices right now can and will make all the difference.