The past several months have been challenging for just about everyone. If you are struggling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, you are not alone. As someone in recovery from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you may be facing additional issues in dealing with the stress. There are many ways to stay sober during times of crisis, though, even during the very trying era of COVID-19.
Don’t Use the Crisis as an Excuse
The isolation and restrictions that have been put in place as a result of COVID-19 have caused many people to change their lifestyles and their work habits. Some have found that they are gaining weight as a result of having to stay home and some are drinking more, as evidenced by the increase in alcohol sales.
However, when you are in recovery from an addiction to alcohol, you cannot use the crisis as an excuse to drink again. There are more positive steps you can take to not only stay sober during times of crisis, but to stay strong in your resolve to continue your recovery.
Attend a Virtual Meeting
While you may not have the option to attend an in-person support group near you during COVID-19, many organizations have put their meetings online. You need this support more than ever now, to maintain your sobriety, so check out options that allow you to participate virtually. The new platform actually enables you to attend support groups that are not in your area, so you will also have the opportunity to meet some new people who are going through the same challenges.
Focus on Positive Possibilities
As one addict in recovery put it, “People need to sit down in a chair and quietly think, ‘What do I believe?’ Get to the root cause (of addiction) and give yourself a break. Try to come up with some answers for yourself. What’s the point of being sober? It’s about purpose and usefulness and being able to sit with all this. Why don’t you use the time to reconnect with the people who mean something to you?”
Stay focused on your recovery goals. Look toward the future of positive possibilities. Reach out to those people in your life who have been positive in their support and talk with them about what you are going through. They will appreciate the opportunity to speak with you again too!
You might even want to try a new hobby or a new project to help you stay sober during times of crisis, especially during COVID-19. A new exercise routine can be a great way to help you feel better, physically and mentally. Exercise releases brain chemicals called endorphins, which are designed to make you feel good.
Find Healthy Ways to Manage the Stress
When you get stressed, you may find that you have an urge to drink again. First you will need to manage your urge, which typically lasts about 15 to 30 minutes. You can try chewing gum as a substitute or repeat a personal mantra to strengthen your resistance, such as “I am stronger than this, and it will pass.”
This would be a good time to start a journal too. When you feel stressed and have the urge to drink, take out your journal and write down your thoughts. Be sure to also write about the things that bring you happiness, the things that you are grateful for, and then take the time later to review what you’ve written, to remind yourself about the good things in your life.
Spend some time in prayer and meditation to help you stay sober during times of crisis. Meditation can help you relax as you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process can help enhance your physical and emotional well-being. As described in Step Eleven of the 12-Step Program, “when we turn away from meditation and prayer, we likewise deprive our minds, our emotions, and our intuitions of vitally needed support.”
Stay Sober with Faith-Based Addiction Treatment
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stressful crisis and many people have turned to drugs and alcohol to cope. However, there is another way. Please contact Celebrate Hope if you are struggling with addiction. We are available around the clock to answer any questions you may have. Our team relies on evidence-based therapies along with the teachings of Jesus Christ to help men and women achieve long-term recovery.