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Maintaining Your Recovery During Coronavirus

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — March 19, 2020 — 3 min read

As government officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have called for social distancing and self-quarantine, those in recovery from a substance use disorder might feel anxious. If that’s you, you might be asking yourself:

  • What if my Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meeting is canceled?

  • What if I can’t get in touch with my sponsor?

  • What if I’m struggling with my recovery and need immediate support?

  • What if the stress and panic of new coronavirus (COVID-19) causes me to relapse?

Each of the above questions is a valid concern for those in recovery who might also be high-risk if they contract COVID-19. So—how do you balance your recovery with your COVID-19 concerns? If Your Support Group Meeting is Canceled (AA, NA, etc.) If all your local meetings have been canceled, In The Rooms is a fantastic resource for accessing free online meetings for those in recovery. Smart Recovery offers an online community with virtual meetings, forums and discussions. WEConnect and Unity Recover are partnering to offer 4x daily all recovery meetings to anyone in the world. Meetings will follow an open format 7 days a week at 9am, 12pm, 3pm and 9pm.These websites and communities also have a large selection of blogs, guides, and other content for you to use during social isolation. Just register to create a free account, and you’ll have access to hundreds of online recovery meeting spaces. 5 Tips for Maintaining Your Recovery Throughout COVID-19 Outbreak While canceled recovery support groups might make maintaining your recovery more difficult, there are some things you can do to make it easier on yourself:

  1. Take care of your mental and physical health. Drink plenty of water or tea, go on a walk, or write down your worries/thoughts in a journal. While you might not have fresh veggies stocked in your fridge, try to limit the junk food you eat. Are you feeling anxious? It’s important to remain calm and not believe everything you read on social media. Unplug for a while to get away from all the panic on TV.

  2. Call your sponsor or support person. Hopefully there’s someone in your life who has been your main source of support during your recovery journey. Though you may not be able to meet with them in person, give them a call or video chat! We’re sure they can relate to some of the challenges you’re facing in social distancing or isolation.

  3. Keep yourself busy. If you are working from home, take this time to focus on knocking out tasks that have been on your to-do list for a while. If you aren’t working, clean up the house, wash all the dishes, vacuum or sweep, and fold laundry. This can make your home feel more peaceful.

  4. Spend time with family, roommates, or pets. If you live with someone else (human or animal), use this free time to hang out with them. Play card or board games, talk about what’s been going on at work or school—and for your furry friends, teach them a new trick!

  5. Take a free online class. Many universities, museums, and community organizations are now offering free online courses for the public to take at home. Some include:

Resources for Those in Recovery during COVID-19 Social Isolation

  • If you or a loved one is in a non-medical-emergency crisis situation, call Cardinal Innovations’ 24/7 Crisis Line: 1-800-939-5911

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) National Hotline: 1-800-662-4357.

  • Crisis Text LineText HOME to 741741

For medical emergencies, call 9-1-1 immediately.

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