Recovery is one day at a time — and occationally one moment at a time.
In 2020, those moments have, for many of us, become more challenging than they ever have before.
From job losses to local lockdowns, men and women in recovery have been struggling.
Here are four tips on maintaining your sobriety during COVID-19
1. Online Meetings (Zoom)
Listen, I know online meetings aren’t ideal, but there is a reason that it is the first item on this list.
The first step towards a relapse happens long before you actually drink or use. The relapse begins when you quit going to meetings, calling your sponsor, or working the steps.
At some point in our sobriety, we face the fact that things are going better. We may think, “I don’t need a meeting today.”
It is especially easy to miss a meeting when it is held online.
Don’t listen to this voice. There are no excuses.
Here is a link to an online directory of Zoom meetings. Just a click away. Do the right thing.
2. Sober Routine
At meetings, we hear our fellow alcoholics and addicts discuss their “sober routine.”
A “sober routine” looks differently for each of us. For many it is as simple as taking a few minutes in the morning to read the “Daily Reflections.”
Sobriety, in many ways, is founded on routine. When COVID-19 arrived, very few of us were left with our routines unchanged.
Despite this, there are always five spare minutes in the day.
Find those five minutes.
They may be more important than you realize.
Here are routine ideas to get the most out of your five minutes:
- Read the daily reflections and spend a few minutes writing down what comes to mind.
- Write a list of what you need to accomplish that day, and try to recognize what could cause additional stress.
- Call your sponsor or a loved one that supports your sobriety. Tell them that you love them and how much they have helped you.
- Take a personal inventory from the previous day. Recognize mistakes and plan on how to do better.
3. Advocate for Yourself
Some of us are stuck at home with roommates or family members that do not share our lifestyle choices.
Setting boundaries are important.
Take yourself and your sobriety seriously. Advocate for yourself in your shared living space.
I know it might be awkward, but you need to tell your roommates or loved ones where the line is, and then hold them accountable for not crossing it.
You deserve to feel confidently sober in your own living space.
After a 14 hour work day, I found myself telling my wife that I needed some self care. She chuckled and asked if I was going to start doing more yoga or drinking green smoothies. I shook my head and said that right now I need some very basic self care — like eating lunch, or drinking water, or sleeping for more than four hours each night.
I know that so many of you are in the same situation.
We often forget to take a few moments during the work day to give ourselves the basic necessities.
Take yourself off of autopilot, recognize what you need, and do it.
Once you have the basics, you can graduate to some legitimate self-care.
Here are some basic ideas for self-care:
- Meditation / Prayer
- Casual Biking
- Online Meetings