It has been a challenging time for anyone in recovery. The COVID-19 pandemic has created many barriers needing to be overcome. Sober communities have come together to help one another but staying connected is vital. Many parts of the world are beginning to open, but social distancing and even self-isolation are still prevalent. Technology and social media have been essential with our new daily routines. Social media applications have helped us become connected to other sober communities, family members, and friends. However, as the new temporary normal continues, the effort made to become connected with other sober people should continue. Staying connected with other sober individuals or groups during this pandemic keeps us focused on our sobriety and life goals as an individual and as a group. Here are some tips to keep it going.
Keep Connected Virtually with Your Recovery Community
Over the next coming months, things are going to be stressful. There are still restrictions and going back to our regular and normal routine is going to take time. Before this pandemic, many within the sober community relied on peer support groups or group meetings. Unfortunately, much of the human element has been removed. Yet, social media and technology have filled the gap. In-person meetings had to adapt quickly and moved to online access. There has been a surge of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings moving online as the pandemic progressed. Twelve-step support groups and organizers of all types began to move resources online. The help and support are there, but it is up to us to stay committed.
Most communication today takes place via text message or email. If you want to maintain a strong and meaningful connection with your recovery groups, embrace video chatting and talking on the phone. Now is the time to pick up the phone and call someone or order a webcam, use the camera on your phone or laptop, and put that person’s face on the big screen. Texting is great, and it is an easy conversation. Yet, seeing a face and hearing a voice brings a real connection back, and many phone applications are designed for recovery. Practically every social media app is designed for video chat. Also, become adamant that once a day or every couple of days is our video chat or phone call time. Keep everyone involved accountable for maintaining it. Make this part of your daily routine, and you will find that maintaining your routine becomes much more manageable.
Keep Connected to Positive Uplifting Sources
It is wall-to-wall media coverage about the pandemic on every platform and outlet across the globe. There are endless sources of information, bad news, pandemic stories, and each media outlet has a narrative to push. However, you can choose the narrative you want to hear, and some good news always helps during stressful and uncertain times. Your mental wellbeing can be adversely affected by the continuous news cycle. It is not about completely shutting off what is happening in the world. Yet, you do not need to watch hours of news and media every day. It is essential to unplug from the constant news cycle. Give yourself 24-hours without any news media – yes, this is challenging with how social media works, yet not impossible.
Begin to write down how you feel when you are connected to the news media, what emotions you experience, does it stress you out, or do you feel anxious. Disconnect from news media for 24-hours and then document how you feel. If you notice a change in how you perceive the world and how you feel emotionally, implement this process into your routine. Something like this could even apply to your social media; there is a reason an unfollow button exists. The information and sources you connect to is ultimately your choice. However, it would be irresponsible to neglect how it makes you feel and how you respond to it.
Focus on the Benefit of Keeping Connected
It is a fantastic world we live in – we can order anything online, and it is delivered right to our doorstep. We have the ability to reach out to help others with the click of a button through a monetary donation, supporting local business, and helping someone work through a problem. Social media allows us to share all that is good in the world, and it will enable others to experience this. We can call someone on the other side of the planet and see their face and support them through recovery. Even during a crazy time such as this pandemic, there are countless benefits to staying connected while in recovery. The only part of this that has changed is the face-to-face in-person connection, which is significant. However, this is the time to adapt. Focus on all the other ways to stay connected with our sober communities.
Sometimes it is difficult to focus on what we are gaining and much easier to place attention on what we are missing. What we have gained during this pandemic is a more profound sense of community. Most of it is online and virtual, yet the result has been astonishing. Virtual resources are endless, and there are still countless people in the dark, not knowing what to do. The world we live in now at this moment is about pushing forward. Think of everything you went through to achieve your sobriety. You are connected to a massive community of dedicated people working towards different, yet in some way’s similar goals.
Adapt, Overcome and Move Forward
The average person would not have expected something like this to happen in our lifetime. Regardless of what stage you are in during recovery, this has impacted everyone significantly. Unless you are the ultimate doomsday prepper, there is no way to prepare for a pandemic. There is a reason; however, we overcame our addiction, along with a reason we have helped others to do the same. We can stay connected, work together, adapt, overcome our personal obstacles, and help others within our sober community. Finally, we move forward – no matter what, as an individual and a group, we push forward.