Updated: Mar 26
It is hard to avoid the elephant in the rooms.
COVID-19 is now a global emergency and has been stirring up some anxiety and fear in the recovery community. Some of us, who decide to attend support meetings, are finding a lot of our support shut down. "Social distancing" may be affective to keeping a virus from spreading but isolation is a dangerous place for an addict's brain. Being in community with each other is one of the building blocks of solid recovery. So we put together some tips to *practice safe sobriety* and stay connected during this time.
One of the best things you can do is WASH YOUR HANDS! The CDC recommends 20+ seconds with soap and water as often as necessary. Hand sanitizer is a great tool as well but is not as effective as washing your hands. Avoid microphones when possible and if you are handling money try and wear gloves.
Take Your Space
If you do attend support meetings try and take some extra space between one another. Fist bumping, feet taping and elbowing have been some of the suggested solutions to the regular handshake or hugging.
Technology can be a great thing. There are a few online support meetings available to those who are unable to attend their meetings. Anyone can benefit from online support but it is especially beneficial to those who are in high risk of infection, live in rural areas or have had their groups closed down. We will have a list of all the meetings we are aware of at the end of this post.
Pick Up The Phone
Call your supports! A good phone call with your support network can help you stay connected to your recovery. Do not just pick up the phone when you are in trouble. Make it a habit to call someone from your support team daily. Maybe you could even brighten someones day as a result.
Having good ventilation and air flow is important. Open windows and doors in meetings when you can to avoid *stuffy rooms*. It is a good idea to let your homes air out as well. Open windows and doors and let that stale air move. You can also meet outdoors one on one or in small groups of supportive friends. Being outdoors and getting for a walk is a great way to stay social and connected with nature.
Use Your Tools
No matter what recovery path you have choices you have probably picked up a tool or two on your journey. Now is a good time to get those out of your box and start staying on top of your spiritual fitness.
Here is a short list of tools we put together for you:
Daily prayer and mediation are important to strengthen your faith and keep that nervous system at bay. It is so easy to fall into the trap of panic, hysteria and anxiety but none of that is useful to you, your recovery or your fellows.
Keep your gratitude practice going or start one up. There is so much beauty in this world that is easy to miss in times like this. Writing down 3-5 small things that you are grateful for will help balance out that constant negative chatter we can all fall victim to.
Journal it all out! Get all of that fear and anxiety out on paper and tell someone you trust how you are feeling. If you leave it in your head it has a chance to grow out of control. Get that fear out into reality and have someone help you look at it objectively.
PRAY! PRAY! PRAY! Do NOT stop praying. There is a need for it right now. Even if you are feeling fine and COVID-19 does not effect you personally there are people out there that need your prayer right now. Lets pray for each other, for quick healing for those who are sick, for businesses that are suffering, for the countries that are shut down and for the ones in our lives that are stuck in fear. Prayer is powerful!
Online Support Resources
Local Zoom Meetings