Sobriety is an ongoing process that requires a daily commitment to recovery goals. Those in recovery know that it is essential to have a strong support system to maintain sobriety. This is especially true for those who are in early recovery. Other factors that help individuals in recovery include having daily structure and positive routines. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent quarantine, social connections, and daily routines have been interrupted. When daily structure changes and there are increases in stress and anxiety, there are higher risks for relapse. Here are some tips to help you succeed in your sobriety during this challenging time.
Tips for Sobriety
(1) Utilize online recovery resources. Although in-person support groups and 12-step meetings have been put on hold, there are a variety of online resources, including:
(2) Stay connected with your support network. Choose a time every day to check-in with your sponsor, sober support, or a supportive friend or family member. Connecting with someone who supports you, even if only for a few minutes, can help you feel connected with others. Even if you are struggling and you don’t want to share that with a friend or family member, reach out anyway. Having a sense of connection is very beneficial, and talking with someone else (about anything at all) provides a positive distraction and a way to reduce urges or thoughts to use substances.
(3) Develop daily routines and have a sense of structure. Make a list of 2 or 3 goals for yourself each day. Then, make a list of 3 or 4 tasks that will help you accomplish each goal. Next, assign a time to each task during the day. Having a plan for the day will help you remain focused and feel productive. Don’t forget to incorporate enjoyable hobbies into your daily schedule as well, such as taking a walk, playing with a pet, dancing in your living room, or watching a favorite TV show.
(4) Practice Mindfulness. This involves focusing on one thing at a time, or one day at a time. Bring your awareness into the here-and-now. There are several free mindfulness and guided meditation apps that you can search for in your app store.
- Use your senses to focus on the present. Look around you and identify three objects and what color they are. Name one thing you can see, hear, touch, smell, and taste. Dig your heels into the floor and think about how that feels in your body.
- Focus on your breath. Breathe in while counting to 4, and take a slow breath out while counting to 6 or 8.
- Engage in a Progressive Muscle Relaxation exercise.
(5) Seek additional help and support from a professional during this time.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse and maintaining sobriety, reach out for help with a professional. You don’t have to go through it alone. Specialized Therapy Associates is currently providing telehealth services including sessions that can be held over the phone or through confidential video conference sessions. We can work with you to make sure you can work with a professional who best meets your needs. Please contact our intake office for scheduling and more information at (201)-488-6678. We look forward to helping you today.