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Tips for Social Distancing

Apr 2, 2020

As the global pandemic of COVID-19 has made “social distancing” a household phrase in a short period of time, we’ve had to adjust every former routine behavior as we stay at home, work from home, or travel to stores for essential items. For those living with addiction, this change in routine, isolation, and distance from others can have a particularly profound impact on mental health and well-being. Today let’s look at some tips to keep in mind when social distancing right now.

Social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on Americans living with addiction or attempting to maintain their recovery during a highly stressful time. In a period when old routines are lost, creating routines is essential to provide structure in your day and reduce the opportunities to misuse drugs or alcohol. Remembering the importance of self-care, connecting with others online or by phone, especially when needing 12-Step meetings, and finding ways to practice mindfulness for the benefit of mind and body can be productive ways to proactively manage your addiction at home. If enduring addiction during social distancing feels overwhelming and more support becomes necessary, call your doctor or addiction specialists at a reputable treatment facility near you. 

Take time to create new routines.

By now, you have already seen how your routines have been disrupted significantly by social distancing. You may be isolated at home and only going out to get essential items. With your previous routines paused, now is a time to create new routines with your day.

Consider what activities can provide some much needed structure to your day. You don’t necessarily need to schedule something for every hour, but giving each day some planned activities can keep you focused on your recovery. The activities you choose can help you create a daily routine that occupies your mind and body and reduces your time to think about the choices to use or abuse drugs or alcohol.

Remember the importance of self-care.

Part of your daily routine should be time for self-care, a high priority at any time of your life. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating sufficiently, and staying physically active to the best of your ability and within your limited space. The care you provide yourself is essential in keeping you physically, mentally, and emotionally in check.

It may help to create a self-care checklist and post it somewhere visible. Take note of what you’ve done and what’s left to do each day to meet the expectations you set for yourself. Adjust the list as needed to add new self-care items as they become apparent.

Connect with others online or by phone.

Part of your self-care is human connection. We’re not made to be alone for long stretches of time. If social distancing alone at home is your situation, use the time to seek out people you know online for a conversation. Make sure it’s an actual give-and-take exchange rather than just surfing the web. Also, you can look for ways to be of service by organizing your own meeting or reaching out to others who may need your help.

With in-person 12-Step meetings temporarily unavailable, look for ways to “meet” online or by phone. Whether you have been through treatment, you’re interested in recovery, or you’re still using, these virtual meetings can be a vital form of support during a time of great disconnection. If you’re not sure how to find an online meeting, look for your organization’s website or phone number to get the information you need.

Practice mindfulness for mind, body, and spirit.

Mindfulness can come in many forms yet the objective is the same. You want to manage your stress levels and anxiety. Left unchecked, physical stress and mental health issues can lead to relapse for those in recovery and increased drug or alcohol abuse for those living with addiction. Mindfulness options may include yoga, meditation, or any body-calming exercises you have learned. During this national crisis, some content providers are offering free access to the tools you can use to practice mindfulness at home and create peace in your day.

Hanley Center – A Path to Recovery

Hanley Center is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 844-501-4673.

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