Our entire world is being shaken up by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the luxuries of life we enjoyed have been stripped away, as we are humbled by the Coronavirus. Unfortunately, millions of Americans are now facing uncertainty and unemployment, with zero timetable for when things will return to normal.
As someone who has been sober for five years, my attention immediately goes to how the recovery community has been affected. That’s because the recovery community has been massively affected.
A big part of getting and staying sober is the fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous, along with many other fellowships for other issues. They thrive by congregating together constantly; which, in turn, works wonders for people’s sobriety.
Obviously, right now, that isn’t possible. My heart especially goes out to those who are just entering recovery. Early recovery, with little access to meetings or ways to really meet new sober people, is a massive problem right now.
Thankfully, there are alternatives. Below, I’ve prepared a brief list of things for people in early recovery to turn to during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The absolute worst thing for someone in early recovery to do is attempt to get sober by themselves. This is an extremely common mistake that can have potentially devastating consequences. More than ever, now is the time that newly sober people may try to do this themselves, as they are dealing with the lifestyle that quarantining presents.
With the great advancements of technology, online NA and AA meetings have become massively popular, and there is always one that can be found on the Zoom App.
Zoom allows groups of people to congregate online and interact with each other, and if you don’t want to show your face on your webcam (which is an option), you don’t have to! The most important thing is to hear the message that is being delivered in the online meeting.
For NA members, meetings can be found at virtual-na.org.
For AA members, meetings can be found at aa intergroup.org/directory.php.
Hearing a great message is one thing, but it’s not the most important factor. I always stress that people in early recovery absolutely need at least one person they can reach out to and open up to. That person, of course, should have spent years in sobriety and should be actively working to stay sober.
With something like Zoom, if you hear somebody share something that resonates with you, you can simply click on their name to privately message them! How easy is that? It is certainly easier than introducing yourself to someone new at a meeting.
I can’t stress it enough to people in early recovery who are reading this: Simply find someone whom you can always reach out to when times get tough. It is a life-saver.
I want to keep this simple, as there is no need to overwhelm anyone at a time like this. Along with meeting other sober individuals online for support, it is important that you take care of yourself. You can do this in a few different ways.
Nutrition and exercise
Thankfully, we are still able to go outside at a time like this (just practice social distancing! Six feet or two metres apart!). I find it incredibly helpful to walk for a few miles each morning. Nothing strenuous or exhausting—simply walk a few miles. It does wonders for my mental health.
If hard exercise is your thing, though, go for it! Eating well and exercising regularly, in any way, can benefit you in early recovery.
Think about it: Eating healthy and exercising makes you feel good. If you feel good, you are far less prone to cravings and triggers. It’s that simple! Don’t get stuck eating junk food all day and night during quarantine; treat your body right, and you will notice a great difference.
If you are new to meditating, that’s OK. There are a handful of great apps that can introduce you to the practice. Personally, meditating in the morning provides me with a ton of positive energy and motivation. I can’t explain why or how it works, but there is something about clearing your mind as much as possible, for a short amount of time, that has incredible positive effects.
Meditation is like going to the gym—you will only get results if you do it consistently. You don’t have to meditate for a long time, though. A few minutes a day is great for those who are starting out. What better time than now to try something new?
It may seem like you are stuck while quarantining, but there is still so much you can do if you are in early recovery. I always tell people in recovery, you get in what you put out. You can still put a lot into your recovery, even if you are stuck at home. Find it in yourself to keep up the action every day.
«RELATED READ» 6 WEEKS OF SHELTER-IN-PLACE: Personally and socially, where is this leading?»
image 1 Pixabay 2 Pixabay