Recovery and Engagement: What it Looks Like Today
As our nation continues to use social distancing as a preventive measure to reduce the spread of Covid19, many are wondering how to stay engaged and involved in their long-term recovery during this time.
For so many people and families impacted by addiction, they know the importance of staying active in their recovery community. And today is no different.
So while meetings may be cancelled in person, there are still many ways to stay engaged in your recovery and support your mission of long-term recovery. Here are some tips RCA recommends to help you stay engaged, support yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually, and to keep you on your path to recovery.
- Find meetings online: with in person meetings being cancelled, begin to look for virtual or meetings online.
- Website: https://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/find-aa-resources
- AA online virtual meetings via chat rooms: https://aachats.org/ (you need to sign up with email to participate, these are not monitored by AA)
- NA virtual and phone meetings: https://www.na.org/?ID=virtual_meetings (links for both on this page)
- Phone meetings: There are also phone meetings replacing in person meetings.
- AA phone meetings via teleconference: http://aaphonemeetings.org/ (can search by day/time and type of meeting)
- Phone numbers: https://www.na.org/meetingsearch/ (just search by your area code)
- Create Chat Rooms: Today, technology is a blessing. Start your own chat group! Find those involved in recovery, or if you are a sponsor or have a sponsor, create a group chat to be able to stay connected, see faces and know you are not alone.
- Get Physical: It’s a known fact that nature, sunshine, and getting outside increases brain chemistry, helping to settle your nervous system and make you feel happy. So go outside (just practice safe precautions and stay 6 feet away from anyone). Spring is just about here – it’s the perfect time to take your dog for a walk, enjoy the sunshine, pay attention to the sound of the birds, or the rustling of the leaves.You can also increase dopamine by exercising. Try free online videos to watch and workout. If you like working out with friends, then you can Facetime and enjoy working out together (example: 305 fitness on YouTube).
- Try new things: Be mindful of being “bored.” Plan your day, so you don’t fall back in old patterns of isolating or doing nothing. Many musicians are posting online home concerts, Broadway is releasing some of their plays in full to watch from home, museums are offering online tours, read an inspirational book, or try cooking. Now is the time to do all the things you might not have had time to do!
- Watch your diet: Staying home can increase the likelihood of eating poorly, but diet can impact triggers to use again. Choose wisely.
- Sponsorship and fellowship: We all need to feel connected and we know recovery is strengthened by connection and support. Keep a list of 1-5 people you can reach out to when you’re feeling alone or isolated. Sometimes just having someone listen to your emotions and thoughts can help you engage in a skill rather than engage in an old pattern.
- Therapy: Many therapists and OP programs are creating ways to set up phone sessions. Talk to your therapist or call a program and ask if they can still set up phone sessions
- Be creative. Pick up a project you want to try or search DIY projects online. I know someone who decided she was going to find inspirational quotes every day that hold meaning to her and put them together in a journal to be shared together when we finally meet. What a cool idea!
- Watch things that are funny! Changing physiology is incredibly important. When you are laughing, you release chemicals in your brain, giving you the will to survive. If you want to stay connected during this time find a friend and Facetime watching something funny together. Laughter is contagious.
At RCA we are continuing to look for new and creative ways to enhance the recovery experience. Please continue to check our website and sign up for alumni events, if you have not already. That way, you will be the first to know as new ways are created to help keep you engaged.
And as always, if you or someone you know is struggling please call us 24/7 at 1-800-RECOVERY. Together we will get through this, and together we can recover!
– Written by Trish Caldwell, RCA Director of Family Services