As the country works together to reduce the spread of COVID-19, many are encouraging the practice of social distancing. However, for those in recovery, social distancing can often bring more questions coupled with anxiety than answers and calmness. Those in addiction recovery shouldn’t panic and let this concept scare them. One of the best ways to keep calm, positive and stay connected is to reach out to your alumni program through social media, phone calls, or text. Here are some additional tips for staying in recovery while practicing social distancing.
What is Social Distancing?Social distancing is the intentional creation of space between people to help prevent or slow the spread of a disease. There are currently many measures in place to enforce social distancing. From the CDC guidelines recommending six feet of distance between individuals to discouraging crowds of more than 10 people in a confined area. This has a direct impact on the recovery community as it means AA meetings, support groups, and other ways to stay connected have been cancelled or postponed. It is important during this time to be creative in how you stay connected with others as isolation breeds relapse. Fortunately, the recovery community has rallied and has come up with many options to stay connected while remaining safe.
Tips for Staying in Recovery While Practicing Social Distancing
- Participate in online meetings – Several AA groups offer online meetings. Lookup different schedules and consider dialing in to participate in your routine meetings. Monitored forums and social media groups can also help you feel connected to others in similar situations. This type of online connection allows you to exchange words of encouragement, talk through any negative thoughts that might be arising, and exchange suggestions on activities to enjoy indoors.
- Call or FaceTime loved ones – If you’re able to, make the goal of calling or FaceTime-ing a loved one every day – this can be someone in your family or someone from your support system. This is especially helpful if you begin to feel overwhelmed or anxious about the current events. A video call allows you to see your loved one, providing an additional sense of connection without placing anyone at risk.
- Journaling – Writing down your racing thoughts and emotions is a great way to calm your mind and focus your attention. Instead of acting on impulses, write them down and use the time to work through the problem. Journaling can also help you make plans for when things return to normal.
- Spending time outside – While it’s important to keep a distance from others, that doesn’t mean you must stay indoors. If you are feeling healthy, take the time to enjoy some time outdoors. Go for a walk, sit under a tree and read, or practice yoga in your yard. Should someone approach you, simply walk away to maintain a safe distance.
- Yoga and meditation – Practicing yoga and meditation is a great way to keep your focus on your recovery journey. Focusing on your breathing helps with racing thoughts and anxiety. Yoga poses also help to keep you active while you practice social distancing.