The impact of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic has been felt within every aspect of our lives. From the places we work to the people we interact with on a daily basis, it’s as if every part our of daily routine has been either significantly adjusted or completely shut off.
For some, the adjustment to a slower, more isolated lifestyle has not been significant. But for others, the forced social distancing has been life altering. For your loved one, it is important to understand how this new phase of life has impacted them.
Having to distance from support groups and meaningful relationships can have a tremendous effect on an individual’s ability to maintain their sobriety. It can induce overwhelming feelings of loneliness and drive them back to the old habits that ruined their life to begin with.
So, how can you help your loved one stay socially engaged during a time where social distancing is required? Taking the time to understand their perspective and what you can do to provide support from a distance is an excellent place to start.
What Social Distancing Means for People in Addiction Recovery
Having to stay apart from every social support in your life can prove devastating for people in addiction recovery. Losing that social connectivity and accountability can leave your loved one feeling abandoned and hopeless.
For many people in this scenario, implementing substance use as a means of coping is common, which in turn drives them deeper into their feelings of hopelessness and farther back in their journey to recovery.
That is why having a solid sober support network during times like these is imperative. It not only provides your loved one with a safety net to help them if they fall, but it also creates a network of encouragement and accountability that keeps them focused on their sobriety.
How to Stay Busy During Social Distancing
While a person cannot always control the world around them, they have the ability to control their own life. Working with your loved one to understand what is within their control and what is not is critical.
Accomplishing this requires the creation of a plan and social support in order to help your loved one establish some beneficial habits and stick to them throughout their time of social distancing.
Use the following tips to start a conversation with your loved one when discussing how to stay busy during social distancing:
• Create a routine – Taking the time to really reflect on daily activities and create a consistent routine is the first step in staying busy when your loved one is forced to distance themselves from those around them. It helps avoid unstructured down time and establishes a schedule that provides guidance and motivation when it is needed most.
• Stay active – Establishing a routine is where your loved one needs to start; implementing consistent physical activity is how they can maintain their focus. Incorporating regular physical activity into your day provides a natural remedy to feelings of stress and anxiety. It allows your loved one’s body to better manage the negative emotions associated with social distancing while also improving physical health and overall wellbeing – which is essential during times of increased stress.
• Try something new – Activities ranging from cooking lessons and gardening to yoga classes and art tutorials can help your loved one expand their knowledge during times of social distancing. These activities are an excellent way to keep the creative juices flowing and the desire to relapse at bay. Your loved one challenging themselves to learn something new can push them to achieve new skills and sustained personal success.
How to Connect During Social Distancing
Staying connected and engaged during times when you are expected to remain socially distant may seem contradictory. However, with all the technology currently at our fingertips, staying socially connected while you are apart from your loved ones has never been easier.
You can discuss the following options with your loved one:
• Video conferencing – From Zoom and Google Meet to Skype and Facebook, the endless options for video conferencing with friends and loved ones is only a click away. Don’t forget that as a loved one to someone struggling with recovery, communicating through video allows you to see them and helps you monitor their physical wellbeing and nonverbal cues.
• Communicating through the phone – Whether calling friends or a loved one to check in or sending a daily text, maintaining a constant line of communication is as easy as pushing a button. This method of communication can be easiest for your loved one, as it doesn’t require excessive time out of their day.
• Writing a letter – While not the quickest method of communicating, the value of sending a handwritten letter is as meaningful today as it was 50 years ago. Writing a letter serves other purposes for your loved one, too, as writing can be artistic, healing, meditative and so on. It can also fill chunks of unused time during your loved one’s day.
Why Connecting with Loved Ones During COVID-19 is Key
Whichever method your loved one chooses, all that matters is they mindfully take the time to establish consistent communication with you, their other loved ones and friends. Connecting virtually during social distancing is an essential component to their continued personal success and sobriety.
It provides them with a sense of support and reminds them that they are not alone no matter how far apart they may feel from the people they love. Remember, during times of high stress and uncertainty, your loved one needs you the most.
When you take the time to guide or help them in establishing a routine of consistent communication, you are undoubtedly helping them stay optimistic and avoid a relapse.
Ranch Creek Recovery Is Open to Help Your Loved One Recover from Addiction
As an essential healthcare provider committed to helping people overcome addiction, we remain
open during this time. At Ranch Creek Recovery, we remain steadfast in ensuring our facility delivers health and safety for all our clients and staff members. We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely, taking precautions and following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Beyond that, we are taking additional measures within our own treatment facility.
Should your loved one need expert addiction help, we are here for them. As a luxury, non-12-step rehab in California, we deliver an alternative approach to addiction rehab. We focus on tailor-fitting each recovery program to address every client’s unique needs.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help your loved one achieve a new tomorrow.