Three Tips for Staying Sober in a Post-COVID-19 World
The COVID-19 lockdowns at the beginning of 2020 impacted nearly every part of our daily lives, from our jobs to our errands to our leisure activities. For individuals in recovery, the pandemic may have taken a toll on your mental or physical health, destroyed healthy routines you’d worked extremely hard to put into place, and made you feel isolated or disconnected from your support system.
Like many health and medical services, substance abuse treatment centers like Extra Mile Recovery have adapted to the pandemic. But with the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic behind us, many people in recovery might find themselves presented with a new set of problems and opportunities when the “new” normal eventually returns to the “old” normal. Here’s how to tackle some of them:
1. Stay Connected with Your Support System
During the pandemic, many of us found safe ways to interact with friends and family, through increased phone calls or text messaging, using social media apps, video chats via Facetime, or attending Zoom meetings. But when in-person meetings are safe and commonplace again, many people may find themselves online less and less. And since your support system is an integral part of your recovery, it must adapt.
You’ve worked hard to maintain connections to your loved ones online when it wasn’t safe to meet up face-to-face, so don’t let that connection fade. When it’s safe to do so, take the time to go on a walk together, meet up for a meal, or attend support meetings in-person. You may find that in-person meetings are a chance to strengthen your relationship with your friends, family, and peers in recovery.
2. Find Sober Activities Near You
When bars and restaurants safely open back up, and people begin to gather in larger groups for weddings, concerts, festivals, and so on, you may find yourself suddenly faced with potential triggers for the first time in over a year. It may help to avoid such activities altogether — or prepare yourself by bringing a sober buddy if you do need to attend an event.
That aside, there are undoubtedly plenty of sober gatherings taking place. When you feel it is safe to take this step, try checking around for meetups related to some of your hobbies, whether it’s a cycling club, book club, outdoor club, and so on. You could even pick up a new hobby! You may be surprised how many opportunities there are to have fun with others without risking your sobriety.
3. Know When to Seek Help
With that said, sometimes triggers are unavoidable. And after over a year of settling into a brand-new routine in lockdown, the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions may end up leading to a whole new adjustment period.
In time, you may go back to work at the office after working from home, attend counseling meetings in-person instead of online, or eat in a restaurant instead of ordering takeout. And in doing so, you may find that this “old” normal may be more of a challenge than a relief — especially if your “old” normal included substance abuse.
During this period of change, it’s important to stay mindful. Stay present and aware of past triggers, be on the lookout for new ones, and trust yourself to know the signs that might indicate that you’re not okay. Most importantly, know when to seek professional help if you feel like you’re straying from the path in recovery.
At Extra Mile Recovery, we offer a safe, compassionate space to help people struggling with substance abuse heal. Our Mississippi rehab center is a male-only facility located in a beautiful, peaceful, and secluded area. We offer holistic and evidence-based treatment to address addiction from multiple angles, and we personalize our treatment plans to suit each client’s needs.
If you or a loved one struggle with addiction and wish to learn more about our substance abuse treatment programs or any of our recovery services, contact Extra Mile Recovery today.