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When first getting sober we realize the power of community, fellowship and support. It is a part of the foundation we build in an effort to combat the isolation our addiction caused us. Now, with the COVID-19 outbreak among us, many of us have found ourselves without a routine, without our fellowship and without prior experience on how to handle it.
That is where positive thinking and adaptability to change comes in.
If you’re a person in America today chances are your normal routine has been either disrupted or disappeared completely. With the closing of gyms, 12 step meetings, restaurants, and even jobs, our routines look nothing like they did before. While for some people this is okay, for those of us in recovery we know the importance of having a daily or just a weekly routine. This is why it is important right now to create a NEW routine. Which can be kind of fun if you go into it with a positive attitude. Make a routine now, write it down, and stick to it. See how it goes and adjust where you need to. Divide your day up in to work (if home working), rest, exercise, meals, hobbies, etc. If you have kids, do the same for them.
Sometimes it can be hard to find alone time. This is especially true if you are living with roommates, are in halfway house, or even an IOP. Make sure to make dedicated private time to place in your routine. Use your bedroom/bed and make sure to get a couple hours alone. Do whatever you want. Watch that embarrassing show on Netflix, pray, do yoga, whatever it is you need to do for you.
Take the time now to prepare meals. So often, many of us are too busy to cook. We are out running around, working, going to the gym, hitting meetings, and focusing on other things. Take this time to learn a new skill if you don’t already know how to cook. A good mix of “feast and famine” will keep it casual and keep you healthy. Make each day, a different theme. You know what we mean. Meatless Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, Friday is homemade pizza, and maybe Saturday is just something simple. Use the time to be creative and “spice” it up.
If you didn’t exercise before, this may be the perfect time to start. There are tons of apps, YouTube channels, and more, to find free workouts for home. Take the time (since you have it) to figure out what kind of workouts you like (yoga, boxing, tai-chi, running, weightlifting, etc) and incorporate that for at least 20-30 minutes each day. Exercise is a natural antidepressant and it breaks up the day. It will also keep you healthy. If you can get outside, do it! Fresh air and sunshine will make everything better.
When you’re home all day the house is going to get grungy and it is going to get like that quick. Put time in your daily routine to clean and stick to it! This will also help clear your mental space. Pick a room or a couple cleaning chores to do every day and put them in your schedule. A little each day keeps HUGE messes at bay, or something like that.
Keep in touch with your people. There are tons of online meetings that you can find right now (we have thrown a couple links in here at the end). We are so digitally connected today that the lack of meetings isn’t truly a lack at all. Find a couple online meetings and plan to attend. FaceTime with your friends and sponsor. Start a gratitude group chat or meditation reading chat that everyone checks in on, every day. Even if there is nothing going on make sure you check in with people close to you, and in your support group. This connection will really help with the last strategy below.
Listen, like all things in life, nothing lasts forever. This time in self-isolation and quarantine won’t last either. Eventually we will be going back to our daily lives. If you go into this “alone” time with a positive attitude you will come out stronger and maybe even know yourself a little bit better. Don’t obsess over the news, or Twitter, or whatever else is going on. Bring your world closer together, focus on the little things that you would normally miss, and make plans for the future! Use this time to cultivate more of who you want to be. Figure out what your hobbies are, find new books, research on how to make your dreams come true. On the other side of this, you will look back and be grateful for the time. We promise.
Facebook Group for Online Meetings (just ask to be invited): https://www.facebook.com/groups/752807978583745/
AA Intergroup Online Meetings: https://www.aa-intergroup.org
NA Intergroup Online Meetings: https://www.na.org/meetingsearch/
Discover a better life and call our recovery helpline today.