The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been on everyone’s mind and it’s natural to feel vulnerable at a time like this. Know that you have support. Know that we’re in this together. And know that there are steps that you can take to protect your sobriety during these trying times. Here are some recommendations from Dr. Andreas Bienert, Clinical Program Director at Virginia Center for Addiction Medicine:
· Limit your intake of news and social media. It’s important to be prepared, but it’s not helpful to be panicked. Set boundaries for your media intake and discussions over the virus, if needed.
· Recognize what you can control and focus on that. We are powerless over many things going on right now, but we are not powerless over our reactions. It is important to be grounded in here and now. Be present with what is in front of you and stay where your feet are. “Accept the things we cannot the change and have the courage to change the things we can.”
· Implement self-care. Take care of your mind, body, and spirit. This is important for sobriety and for your health. Listen to your body cues and rest when needed. “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” We need to take care of ourselves in order to care for others.
· Utilize online meetings and recovery literature. Although nothing compares to a meeting in-person, online meetings are a great tool to use. Technology is our friend during a time like this. The online community awaits and is available right at your fingertips all day long!
· Don’t forget how resilient you are. Addicts and alcoholics are a strong group of people. Many of us have been through the wringer and are still here to tell the tale. Although sobriety might be new for you, don’t doubt the strength of yourself and your Higher Power. We can walk through these times – just take it one day at a time.
· Ask for help if needed. Reach out to your supports when you need help (whether that be a sponsor, family member, or friend). Asking for help does not make you weak, it makes you strong! Use those supports. You are not a burden – people want to see you be sober and thrive.