10 Strategies for Staying Sober in Recovery While Maintaining Social Distance

Written by Carlee Campbell, Patient Care Specialist at Edgewood Treatment Centre.

Those of us in recovery often hear about the dangers of isolating. Yet, right now, even those of us in recovery must maintain social distance to protect ourselves from the coronavirus. However, while we may need to isolate physically, we can stay connected mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to each other. Here are some thoughts on how to utilize the amazing variety of technologies out there to ground your recovery program.

(1) Attend recovery meetings online

There are many great forums online for attending a variety of recovery meetings virtually. Not to mention, it is an amazing chance to hear new perspectives and strategies outside of your regular meetings. “In the Rooms” is one such resource, offering a wide variety of traditional AA and NA meetings online, as well as specialized groups such as She Recovers, Trauma and Recovery, Chemsex, Codependency, and even Yoga in Recovery. Check out their website to see what they have to offer.

(2) Connect through virtual hangouts

You and your friends in recovery can still connect face-to-face, even in groups. Use free platforms such as Zoom and Google Hangouts for group chats. You can also use Facetime, Facebook Messenger, and Skype to chat one-on-one with your friends from the comfort and safety of your own couch.

(3) Create an email literature study

Pick a recovery book, any recovery book, that you and your people are interested in reading. Each day or week, commit to reading a chapter and then writing an email to the group thread, journaling your thoughts. The same can be done for working a set of steps, if 12-step recovery if your thing. Focusing on your recovery in this way can make it even stronger while maintaining social distance.

(4) Listen to recovery based podcasts and speaker tapes

YouTube is full of amazing speakers sharing their stories of recovery. There are also incredible podcasts you can download or stream from whatever platform you subscribe to, created by a multitude of people in recovery. Some popular favorites available on a variety of platforms, such as Spotify and Google Play, include The Rich Roll, SheRecovers, RecovereD, and Refuge Recovery.

(5) Read your recovery strong

There are hundreds of recovery blogs online, full of experience, strength, humor, and hope. A list of award winning recovery blogs is published annually by Healthline. For the 2019 winners, go here.

(6) Make a phone call

This is a great way to connect personally with others in recovery while maintaining physical social distance. Perhaps even daily. Don’t just text message. Connect with other people in recovery using your voice and hearing theirs. Use that phone list gathering dust in the corner. Listen to people’s stories, struggles, and moments of gratitude. Share your own. Connection is not cancelled.

(7) Go outdoors (if you’re not quarantined)

The great outdoors has always been a place to deliberately seek social distance. Go for a walk, breathe the fresh air, get grounded and present in the moment. Connection to nature is incredibly useful. Wherever you are, there is likely a park nearby where you can stay at least two metres away from other people.

(8) Don’t forget the physical

Connecting to your body is so important in times of stress. Your gym may be closed, but many trainers, gyms, and yoga studios are offering at-home versions of their most popular programs, often for free. Check out their websites or Instagram feeds for more information. Download and get moving!

(9) Access counselling supports online

Edgewood has a platform for you to access counselling and aftercare services online. Rather than cancel your appointment or aftercare session, simply make it virtual. Contact our outpatient department at 1-800-683-0111 to learn how.

(10) Get on the Wagon

The app that is. Wagon is the outpatient clinic that’s always with you wherever you go. Wagon provides an interactive recovery plan that you can access anywhere, anytime. You’ll spend a few minutes each day logging your goal completions, emotions, triggers, and more. Wagon will remind you exactly what you need to do each day to achieve your recovery goals. With Wagon, you won’t be doing it alone. Your counsellor follows your progress in the app, and provides you feedback during your sessions, together with best practice treatment methods. Find out more on our Wagon page.

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