Natrishka Naidoo – Operations Director
Self-isolation is a challenge for most people, but it often poses additional issues for those in recovery. Not only is there the same sense of being disconnected as others are experiencing, but this is often a trigger for alcohol or substance abuse. Isolation from friends and family, coupled with a lack of routine, can be particularly problematic. Boredom and the loss of accountability in going into work are also additional issues that can trigger a relapse and lead to increasingly risky behaviour.
Here are some practical tips to help you deal with this time:
- Rework your sobriety plan – A sobriety plan is the plan you develop to assist you in structuring your day and staying on track. You can rework your lockdown sobriety plan to include home based activities to add structure to your day and keep you focused.
- Look for online meetings –This allows group members or new people interested in joining a recovery group to do so from the safety of their own homes. Members can use smartphones, tablets, or computers to attend live meetings or to gain access to recorded information, print information, or online articles and blogs.
- Reach out to your support network – this is a time to connect with those around you through phone calls, emails, text messages, or even video chats through programs like Skype, Facetime, Zoom, or any of the other free apps that provide live streaming and audio. Set regular times to reach out and talk about stressors, challenges, and issues, timing them throughout the day to avoid long periods where you feel more isolated and alone.
- Stay active – get outside if you are physically able to do so and go for a walk, maintaining social distancing from everyone you meet. If you can’t get out for a walk, look on social media for free workout videos, yoga classes, and even fun dance classes. Physical exercise promotes relaxation of both the body and the mind, and it can also be helpful for those who are having difficulty in getting to sleep at night due to lack of physical exercise.
- Meditation– Lockdown is a great time to practice meditation. If you are not sure how to meditate, there are several online articles as well as guided meditations to help you start.Meditation has several benefits including: Reduced stress, reduced anxiety, increased emotional health and self-awareness and overall feeling of calm.
- Use social media wisely – there is a lot of misinformation on social media. If you are overwhelmed with negative information in your feed, focus on just visiting with friends in groups that are positiveand geared towards helping each other rather than creating more confusion and stress. You can also use social media to join addiction groups that can provide support in this time.
- Medication compliance – Ensure that if you have been prescribed non-addictive anti-craving medications by Arca or by your doctors, that you have enough supply and that you take these medications as directed. Ensure that in this time you do not use or abuse addictive medications because this can lead to cross-addicting and relapse
Picture Courtesy of: Music photo created by master1305 – www.freepik.com