Regardless of the circumstances, drug addiction recovery can be a challenging road to walk that comes with immeasurable reward.
However, the current lockdown in South Africa has placed added pressure on those with drug addiction as well as those who are in recovery.
Although South Africans are about to enter level 4 of lockdown which means the start of a phased and gradual return to economic activity, the country is still required to stay at home if possible.
There has been an undeniable financial impact on many citizens who have been placed under lockdown for the last 5 weeks, unable to earn an income.
Furthermore, the emotional stress caused by the forced isolation from family, loved ones and support groups has made it increasingly difficult for those struggling with addiction to manage their recovery.
As we head into level 4 of lockdown, there are still strict restrictions in place regarding social distancing, visiting of family and friends and returning to work.
With this comes a whole new wave of uncertainty as to when things may return to some level of normality and for this reason, we need to be prepared for the long haul.
Therefore, it’s now more important than ever to stay committed to your choice to recover from addiction.
Here are some tips that can help you cope with the tremendous pressure of addiction recovery during lockdown:
The level of uncertainty that you are facing right now could make you question whether or not it’s worth it to carry on this journey of recovery.
However, this is an opportunity to take a look around and take stock of what has improved since you decided to go sober.
Have your close relationships improved? Are you feeling physically stronger and healthier than before? Are you sleeping better and is your mental health better than it’s been in years?
Point your attention towards these positive aspects of sobriety to help you keep your eye on the goal.
Write these points down and stick them up all over your house to encourage you to keep pushing, no matter how hard it may get.
Although it might not feel that way, this pandemic and the consequential lockdown will end. We might not be able to go to gym or the beach or anything else that energizes our bodies and minds, but this is not our fate.
The silver lining in this case is that integrating back into what we know as “normality” will be a breeze if you stick to your recovery process during this time.
Routine in normal, everyday life is extremely important. Routine in recovery is vital and under lockdown it becomes absolutely imperative.
However, it goes without saying that some parts of your routine may be inaccessible during the lockdown period.
Therefore, it’s important to establish a new, adjusted routine which is as similar to your “normal” routine as possible.
Try to find a healthy balance between work (in whatever form that may be for you) and play. You might feel the need to spend all your time working or fixing things around the house, but taking time out for self-care and relaxation is equally important as finishing your to do list.
Social distancing has cut people off from some of their support systems, which can amplify the feeling of isolation that many suffering with or recovering from addiction experience.
However, physical distancing is very different to emotional distancing and the former is encouraged while the latter is not.
It’s especially important during this time to stay in touch with your friends and family. Whether its via text messages, phone calls or even video calls, contact with special people is beneficial for your morale during uncertain and struggling times.
There are some upsides to being under lockdown, one of which can be that you now have more free time to explore new interests.
You might have something in mind that you have been wanting to try but haven’t found the time to look into it, whether it’s a creative hobby or an online course you’ve had your eye on.
Perhaps you can try new recipes, read a book, start a DIY project or start a vegetable garden. The options are endless, but the aim of the game is to find something that you enjoy doing that you can put some energy into.
A natural part of addiction recovery is carrying a sense of guilt or shame for time lost before becoming sober. The key is to look forward rather than backwards.
Always remember that the past doesn’t define you. Instead, what does is the choices you make as you move forward towards a life of sobriety and opportunity.
Don’t allow yourself to miss out on the joy of new achievements and the chance to grow out of the muddy waters while you create the life you’ve always dreamed of living.
Our team at Step Away understand the immense pressure that the nationwide lockdown has had on everyone who is recovering from addiction.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that choosing sobriety was the best decision you could have made and no matter where you are in your journey, you have come so far.
If you or a loved one is struggling with drug addiction or addiction recovery during the lockdown, please feel free to contact us for support.
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