Things you should know about recovery during the pandemic
In many ways, it feels like the worst of the pandemic is behind us. Many restrictions have been lifted over the past few months; we can grab a bite at many of our favourite restaurants, or even catch live performances in intimate settings. However, the effects of the pandemic are far from over. Most gatherings are still being held in a virtual setting, and many of us haven’t seen our loved ones outside of a computer screen since the pandemic first started. Going through the pandemic has been a trying experience and for those of us in recovery, the pandemic presented a whole new set of challenges to deal with. Here are some things to keep in mind as you continue along your journey of recovery.
- A strong social support system is more crucial than ever
Just because you may be physically distant from other people, doesn’t mean you have to be emotionally isolated. You might have been cut off from some of your in-person support systems since the pandemic, but pandemic or not, we are still wired to depend on regular social interaction to thrive. You should make a point of staying in touch with your loved ones regularly however you can; they can support you emotionally while you are on your path to recovery.
- Virtual support is still support
You might have been a regular at your local SMART recovery meetings, sharing your experiences with and learning from other people in recovery. These support groups are a big part of recovery; they can help you navigate life as you heal from addiction, while also providing a chance to interact with people on the same journey as you. Most of these groups stopped holding in-person meetings with the onset of the pandemic but several switched to online meetings. You can look up virtual meetings for people in your community, but the great thing about online meetings is that you have the potential to connect with people from all around the world.
Other forms of virtual support, such as listening to podcasts or engaging in online forums, are just as valuable; take the time to seek them out.
- You need a routine
Chances are that your routine changed drastically since the pandemic began. The things that used to give you structure, such as going to work or getting to school in time for class, don’t exist in the same way anymore. However, it is extremely important to create a routine for yourself when you are in recovery. Without some structure, you may experience feelings of anxiety and depression which can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms or even relapse. Your routine doesn’t have to be elaborate; in fact, the easier it is to follow, the more likely you are to follow it! Schedule times for the main events of your day, like waking up, eating, cleaning, work, hobbies, and sleep. And show yourself some compassion; even if you don’t stick to it today, you can try again tomorrow.
- Moving your body will do you some good
Now that gyms and fitness centers are open again, you can make some time to maintain your physical health. However, if your local gym is still closed, there are a few other ways you can move your body. Going for a run or a hike are two options for when you want some fresh air. You can also join a virtual workout class or even dance in your bedroom till you work up a sweat.
Moving your body, however you can, will have a positive impact on your mood. If you feel your best, you will be able to face any challenges that come with recovery.
No matter how your recovery journey is going, you should take a moment to acknowledge how far you have come. Even if you do experience a relapse, show yourself some compassion instead of criticizing yourself. You can reach out to your support system for encouragement and comfort. Take each day as it comes and hold on to hope that you will recover, even despite everything that is going on around us.
If you or a loved one are struggling to cope with recovery, we are here to help you. Please contact us today and we discuss how best to support you as you heal.