It’s colder and the days are shorter, which means it’s easier to stay home. We get that. But it’s vital to stay social and keep working your recovery every day. As we approach the holidays with COVID restrictions in place, making a plan, doing your best to not be isolated and staying on a daily life schedule will be your key to surviving these unusual times.
Remembering the three pillars of strength
“Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics.” Chapter Seven of The Big Book opens with this sentence, and it’s a great reminder of the strength of the community you have surrounding you.
There are three essential things to recovery, and they all involve working with others. This season, remember to take the focus off yourself and get involved in your community through:
Three to stay, four to grow, right? There are many resources available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from local marathon meetings to online meetings to meditation apps. Here are a few to help you get started:
Sponsors are people in your community who have been sober for at least one year, have worked the 12 steps and are confident in their sobriety. Find one if you don’t have one already. Reach out if you need help. They will make time for you.
The simple act of giving back or being of service to your community is a great way to take the focus off yourself and on the needs of others. It can be as simple as making coffee for someone or organizing a meeting. It can also mean carrying the message of hope to your community.
Your roadmap for recovery and the holidays during COVID
Navigating the holiday season can be difficult under the best of conditions. Add in COVID restrictions, and it can seem nearly impossible. This roadmap can help you get from today to tomorrow and the day after that until your mind and body are balanced. Here is a roadmap to help you stay sober, survive the holidays and manage your addiction recovery during COVID:
- Make a schedule
A daily schedule should be the same or similar each day to help you settle into a healthy routine. It should include eating well, exercise, self-care, volunteering and attending meetings.
- Drink lots of water, eat well and get plenty of rest
Help your body heal and repair. Drink two glasses of water in the morning and stay hydrated throughout the day, develop or maintain healthy eating habits, and get plenty of rest to restore your body and maintain optimal health and well being.
- Deal with your emotions
In early recovery, it’s common to experience joy, sadness, compassion, and empathy in new ways that can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. Positive self-care and working on some basic emotional wellness skills can create a safety net in which you can learn to experience your feelings in a more comfortable way and overcome triggers.
- Do daily prayers of mindfulness
Each morning, before you start your day, take time to get your mind right and remember why you are in recovery: for yourself. Morning prayers, meditations and mindfulness moments are the best way to center your mind and be intentional about your day.
- Do daily outreach
Touch at least three recovering addicts per day. This can be through online meetings, in-person meetings or phone calls. These connections will help you stay connected to your community as well as your own recovery path.
- Talk to your sponsor
They’ve been exactly where you are and are one of the best resources to help you through tough moments, days or events.
- Attend at least four meetings every week
In early recovery; it’s essential to attend as many meetings as you need to stay sober and connected to your community. They are vital for helping you heal your mind, body and spirit.
- Work your 12 steps
Though we saved this for last, working your 12 steps is one of the most important things you can do to be accountable to yourself and build your best, sober life.
When you wake up in the morning, focus on the next 24 hours. Make your plan for the day, write it down and promise yourself that you will stick to it. Then, take a few moments to do your daily prayers or mindfulness to get your head right before you start your day.
If you need help of any kind on your recovery path, the Pavillon is here for you. The holidays can be tough, but you’re tougher. You can do this. Call 828-383-8785 to get help now.