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6 Tips for Staying Sober During the COVID-19 Pandemic

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, it quickly changed our daily routines and what is considered “normal.” Now everyone talks about the “new normal” and how we can move forward. However, for people in addiction recovery programs, COVID-19 presented additional challenges.

While inpatient treatment programs were considered essential services and remained open, most outpatient resources were shuttered. People no longer had access to support group meetings, sessions, and other ongoing recovery treatments. As such, many people were attempting to come up with creative ways to avoid relapsing.

Their efforts, along with those from addiction recovery professionals, resulted in these great tips for staying sober during these uncertain times:

1. Phone a friend.

Call or use video chat to remain in contact with your friends and family who are supportive of your recovery. Just hearing their voices or seeing their faces can be enough to help you remain focused on staying sober.

2. Schedule virtual tele-meetings and sessions.

Thanks to the power of Zoom and other video conferencing apps, it is possible to attend group meetings and sessions safely from home using your computer. Everyone has the opportunity to share what is going on in their lives with the group and get the added support that is needed to remain sober.

3. Stick to a scheduled routine.

If you were furloughed or let go from your job, you still need to maintain a regular daily routine. Get up at your normal time and go to bed at your normal time. Plan healthy meals and stick to your normal eating habits. With more time at home, start a new hobby, a DIY project you’ve been putting off, or something else interesting to avoid boredom. Don’t forget to also spend part of your day exercising!

4. Limit how much time you spend on social media and following the news.

It is easy to become even more stressed, anxious, or depressed with the flood of information about COVID-19 online and on the TV. Shut it off. There’s nothing you can do, except focus on taking care of yourself, your well-being, and your health.

Instead, read a book, play a video game, or watch an episode or two of your favorite TV programs. Just remember to limit screen time.

5. Get help if the struggles become too real.

If you find that all you are thinking about is drinking or using drugs, get help. Don’t try to go it alone when the support you need is available. If necessary, you could always check yourself into an inpatient treatment program for a short period to help you avoid relapsing.

6. Don’t beat yourself up if you do relapse.

Happy young doctor showing heart gesture at his modern office

Relapses do happen, and you will not be the first person to have done so. Part of your journey to living sober is learning how to overcome life’s challenges. Sometimes we win the battle and, other times, we fail. It is okay. You are still loved, and support and help are here to help you get back on the path to recovery.

Even in these uncertain times, it does not mean you have to give up control over your sobriety. There are several options and patient resources available to help you maintain long term sobriety and continue your recovery.

If you need to schedule an inpatient stay, you are looking for a drug and alcohol detox program or virtual group support, you have questions, or you need advice, please feel free to contact Adelante Recovery Center at (949) 427-9099 today! We have treatment facilities in Orange County, CA, and we help people across the United States on the path to recovery.