Coronavirus quarantine can help you reconsider, refocus and recharge your recovery.
Even if you’ve never seen The Shining, you likely know the classic “Heeeere’s Johnny!” scene. This moment, Jack Nicholson’s toothy smile peering through the destroyed door, is the pinnacle of cabin-fever turned to murderous horror. But his character is also a recovering alcoholic (though we often forget). When you need stay indoors for the next few weeks, how can you continue your addiction recovery?
Addiction recovery still matters during quarantine.
As you know, the COVID-19 virus has spread globally since December 2019. It currently holds a few countries under lockdown, and it also holds most populations under fear of contracting and spreading the illness. In the United States, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends less interpersonal contact to avoid the risk of COVID-19. The best way for that? Self-quarantine. Self-quarantine, as defined by MIT Medical, mostly means remaining in your home and staying away from public activity for about two weeks, if not more.
This length of time will impact your continuing addiction recovery. Here at In The Rooms, we understand that. We recently posted our COVID-19 resources page, which includes our new “Coronavirus Support Meeting.” But we wanted to give our members more in-depth strategies for making the most of recovery while we’re all housebound for at least a little while.
Reconsider in Your Quarantine
Your sudden downtime can give you the chance to weigh your priorities. What do you give the most attention? Have your work, commitments or ambitions drawn you in too many directions? Your addiction recovery and recovery support system may be suffering from your priorities.
Now is the time to reconsider what you do with your life. If you’re around your home and find that the things and activities available to you (family, books, work, movies, cooking) don’t interest you, you should take note. Why don’t they interest you? Ask your loved ones (call them, if necessary). Call your friends. Figure out what is happening in your life, now that it has changed with unforeseen circumstances. What can you learn?
Refocus in Your Quarantine
You might realize, once you have to remain at home, that you’ve lost focus with all hum-drum anxieties of regular life. Specifically, you may have lost focus on your day-to-day addiction recovery.
Recovery coach Kyczy Hawk explained these stresses earlier this week – she recommends re-centering yourself. We agree: if you’ve already ought considered where your attention is, you can refocus your attention where it should be. Namely, your continuing recovery, and your recovery support system – especially under mounting stress from COVID-19.
Those two umbrella focuses might cover plenty of your life. Family members and friends? Neighbors you’d always wanted to meet? Recovery meetings you have – or haven’t – kept attending? Old activities you once enjoyed? New activities you’d like to try?
Within reasonable health boundaries, now might be the time to give them your focus. If you’d like to try a new activity, you could research it during self-quarantine. If you’d like to reconnect with people in your support system (a sponsor, peer or loved one), you could give them a call. And if you’re sharing a home with loved ones, you might have even easier access. Focusing on them could be just sitting alongside them in the living room, or speaking about anything at all. When you have the time to reconnect with your most important people and interests, why not take advantage?
Renewing your focus might better ground you, whether in your recovery support system or in your own fulfilled living (or both). Grounding your mind carefully is one great way to ground your recovery for today, tomorrow and the next day.
Recharge in Your Quarantine
We can’t call quarantine “relaxation.” News about COVID-19 often makes sure that we can’t quite relax. But staying at home might bring a slower pace, if you’re lucky. You might only leave the house when necessary; you’ll have fewer (or no appointments); you could have time to read a book, watch a film or catch up on a television series. Not to mention any of the cleaning or home improvements you may have put off until now.
We recommend taking advantage of this timespan, as it will (hopefully) never happen again. Of course, you may have family commitments to spouses, children or parents who you now see every hour of the day. But (again, if you’re lucky) down time with these loved ones can become relaxation. Reading books, watching films, playing board games – you can make these low-key, low-movement activities into relaxation.
For instance, Dr. Hunter Kennedy from Footprints to Recovery (a premier addiction care provider) says, “COVID-19 social distancing is a time to practice mindfulness … In addition, each person needs to explore and develop self-soothing techniques, such as gardening, reading, taking an online course, joining an online community, and others.” As you can see, there are ways to remake uncertainty into new relaxation. “The secret,” says Dr. Kennedy, “is to keep busy and be as personally productive as possible.”
Keep learning more about your recovery options during COVID-19. Visit (and revisit) the CDC’s guidelines. Drop by The Temper for their list of quarantine activities for recovery. Whatever you do while at home, remember: now can be the time to reconsider, refocus and recharge.
Make sure to stick around In The Rooms, which hosts over 130 live video meetings you can access from home. Sign up today to access any of the scheduled meetings, and let our community help you keep focus on your own recovery.