Addiction Recovery Post-Pandemic
It appears things are getting somewhat back to normal after a stressful year, and it is time to start focusing on your recovery again. It was challenging for many to remain sober during isolation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, now that the country is opening back up, it also opens opportunities to be among your peers and get the support you need to continue your recovery journey.
Equally important is being ready to protect yourself from any obstacle or threat to your sobriety. Your recovery is your number one priority and there is nothing more important. Reviewing your aftercare treatment plan and the coping skills you learned are instrumental to your continued sobriety.
Prepare for Temptation
If you have been away from your friends and peers while in recovery during the pandemic, you may face temptations when you return to your life and resume your daily routines. Being prepared to reenter post-pandemic life is essential since your guard may be down due to the isolation many people experienced. Following are ways to do this:
Engage in Calming Techniques
Many people experience stress or anxiety as they rejoin society after a challenging year of solitude. However, you can prevent this from happening and bolster your commitment to sobriety by remaining calm. Whether it is affirmations, simple breathing exercises, yoga or meditation, finding ways to calm yourself instantly can help keep your recovery intact.
- Remember Your Triggers
Review or make a new list of all things that can trigger your cravings and tempt you to use again. You may have developed new triggers during the pandemic. You may have reverted to “using behaviors” without actually using that resulted in new triggers. Be sure to include those on your list. Be as comprehensive as possible.
- Practice Your Coping Skills
You developed solid coping skills while you were in treatment. Practice these before heading back out into society. Plan what you will do if you run into any “person, place or thing” associated with your past using life. What if someone offers you drugs or a drink—how will you handle it? Do you have a way to leave a party that goes bad?
Knowing in advance how to deal with tempting situations gives you a foot up. Developing a plan or reviewing your aftercare plan will help you prepare for situations that may trigger or upset you. You can be confident in your commitment to sobriety by being aware of your triggers and practicing what to do in advance.
Strengthen Your Recovery to Prevent Relapse
Upon resuming your daily routines and life post-pandemic, it is common to encounter friends and peers who may have relapsed or never stopped using drugs or alcohol. You mustn’t allow this to sway your own decision to stay sober. It is alright to acknowledge the pain of seeing someone you love struggle and go down the same path as you but allowing that pain to derail your recovery benefits nobody. Ways to strengthen your recovery include:
- Assess Yourself
Determine where you are right now in your recovery. Be honest when answering the following questions:
- Do you feel strong?
- Do you think you might fall into old habits, given the right situation?
- Do you have good support around you most of the time?
- What do you do when you are left alone?
Your answers to these questions determine your next steps as you work to strengthen your commitment to your recovery journey.
- Look Into Relapse Prevention Services
If you need extra help or support, you might require relapse prevention assistance. These services review your in-depth after-care treatment plan and provide the support you need to avoid relapse and maintain your recovery.
- Find Support Groups that Help You
Everyone is not ready to share their story with strangers. Therefore, it is vital to find at least one group where you can share your struggles and recovery progress regularly. There are recovery support groups for veterans, Christians, men, women, LGBTQ+, BIPOC and more. Find a group that genuinely supports your specific concerns and needs around recovery, so you have somewhere to turn when the need arises.
Finding ways to strengthen your recovery is essential, especially post-pandemic. The world has changed, your community has changed, and you need to be prepared to adapt to those changes without putting your sobriety at risk. Treatment centers and support groups are opening up again and you may search for new support systems if necessary.
Everyone is impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic one way or another. While it has kept many in recovery safe, for others, it has proved challenging or fatal. With the world opening back up, individuals in recovery must be prepared to return to their pre-pandemic lives. Your goal is to protect your sobriety and recovery. Unfortunately, you may face new temptations along with the old. To be prepared for reentry involves knowing your triggers, strengthening your coping skills and knowing where to get help when needed. Shore up your support system as soon as possible with solid peers, friends and family members. Beautiful Cliffside Malibu in Malibu, California, is an excellent place to turn to for recovery support and relapse prevention. We offer a variety of programs and resources, including sober living, to help you strengthen your recovery journey. Call us at (855) 403-5641 to learn more about our support and recovery programs.