If you are like me, having less opportunity for in-person recovery meetings has led to a new reliance on virtual recovery platforms. And thank God for that! Perhaps you attend or have attended online meetings before (like with In the Rooms) or maybe it’s all new to you. Whatever your experience, it can be challenging to stay connected in the virtual recovery world. To address my own Virtual Recovery Burn-out, I’ve used five ways to reinvigorate my online recovery support, which I’ll share with you.
Set up regular calls or distance visits with your sponsor, mentor, or a close friend.
Even if I am primarily using online recovery support platforms, it is still important to connect 1:1 with others. Sponsorship is an incredible tool that helps so many with accountability going through the steps. Others find that mentorship and friendship is instrumental in helping them stay connected and more engaged in virtual recovery. I love to schedule regular 1:1 Zoom or Facetime calls with my recovery peeps.
Switch it up!
Used to AA, NA or Alanon? Switch up one of your meetings for a different group. All Recovery meetings, Celebrate Recovery and many more are available. You can even try a meeting in another country! In the Rooms has been so helpful for me to be able to explore other recovery pathways and step outside of my comfort zone a bit. Usually when I do this, I feel invigorated and as in all recovery meetings, I always take something away from whatever pathway I participate in.
This is a tough one for me. According to my husband, I am the “queen of multi-tasking” and to my own detriment sometimes. If I am distracted, I don’t get as much out of meetings. And most importantly, I’m not able to give as much. When I put my cell phone down or whatever else I am doing and really tune in, I have so much more of a connected and authentic virtual experience.
Make Virtual Connecting Fun.
Recently, for a recovery milestone, I hosted a “gratitude brunch” for my family and close friends in recovery. It was so fun! We had food, music, a popcorn-style gratitude circle and my kiddos even danced around the room at the end to that awesome song from Zootopia. It was awesome. I have a good friend who regularly hosts Zoom dance parties. You can keep your camera on or off and dance to your hearts content. I’ve heard of other fellowships doing this as well. Virtual teas or coffees or workout sessions: there are so many ways to keep it fresh and fun.
Schedule Screen Free Time.
Maybe this sounds a bit daunting for you—the thought of turning it all off. I have a past featured blog post at The Grit and Grace Project that talks about just this: detoxing from social media. You might be thinking “whoa, slow down a bit” and okay, it doesn’t have to be as extreme as completely giving it up. Maybe schedule some time in during the day, evening or weekend, where you do something else. Perhaps pick up a book, go for a walk, or try a new hobby (my husband has learned how to make the yummiest bread!). If you have a family, hang out with them. Play a board game, make up some fun games to play in the yard (our favorite is pretend fishing or monster hunting with flashlights). If you are single, hang out with your pet(s) or plants or just your sweet, lovely self. Take a deep breath and exhale.
These are unprecedented times.
I’ve heard this said in over a million different ways over countless platforms. Though they are different and challenging, we can rise above and learn something from them. I hope that what has been working for me when I feel the virtual burn-out kicking in, can inspire you to feel recharged in your recovery.