Keeping Sobriety During a Pandemic
It’s safe to say that the world is in uncharted waters with the current Coronavirus pandemic. The last significant pandemic was the Spanish Flu in 1918. While medical and technical knowledge has greatly increased since then, the Coronavirus pandemic has shocked the world, and prompted many individuals to stay at home and limit in-person social interactions. This can provide a challenge for people in recovery, particularly if they rely on social interaction to maintain a support network.
Keeping sobriety during a pandemic isn’t easy, but it is possible. With planning and fortitude, you can maintain your health and your recovery during the coronavirus pandemic.
Listen to Health Officials
First and foremost, it’s important to follow the advice of health and medical professionals. This is especially true during times of emergency, disease outbreaks, or pandemics. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has published several guidelines for individuals regarding the coronavirus. The best ways to protect yourself would be to wash your hands frequently and practicing social isolation. In brief, social isolation is the practice of avoiding close contact with other people, particularly those infected with the coronavirus.
Keep Social Isolation and Social Connection
Reducing social contact will likely be on the CDC and WHO’s list of recommendations to reduce the spread of the virus. It’s true that social isolation helps to reduce spread, but it can also present difficulties for those in recovery. Many depend on a strong support network, and not being able to meet people in person could deprive you of that support. This is why it’s important to maintain social connection while in social isolation.
There are many ways to maintain social connection. One of the most natural routes would be to keep in touch via phone or social media. While these may not have the same degree of value as in-person meetings, a phone call with a close friend or loved one can help you maintain your sobriety. Furthermore, Alcoholics Anonymous regularly hosts online AA meetings.
Create a New Routine
One thing you may notice is that having to isolate yourself may disrupt your regular routine. While sleeping in everyday may sound appealing, it can very quickly lose that appeal. Disruptions in work can further jeopardize one’s recovery. First, without regularly going into the office, you may find yourself with less social connections. Second, with work being done on a remote basis or not at all, you may feel disconnected from society. Oftentimes we find meaning in the work we do, but this can be thrown off balance if that work becomes isolated.
This is why creating a new routine can be pivotal in keeping sobriety during a pandemic. It can be a good idea to make a schedule and stick to it. Try getting into a morning routine. Schedule in regular times to make phone calls and connected with friends, family, and loved ones. Setting up daily video calls can also be a good way to connect with other people.
Aside from practicing good hygiene and disinfecting regularly used surfaces, one of the best ways to maintain both sobriety and keep yourself safe during a pandemic is to keep up a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise can be an important part of this. Maintaining a healthy diet is also of pivotal importance. Not only will eating healthy boost your immune system, but it can also help keep you in better mental health.
The coronavirus pandemic is going to be challenging, regardless of your circumstances. With hard work, careful planning, and an awareness of your mental and physical healthcare needs, you can come out healthy and sober.