The country’s battle with Covid-19 appears to be winding down and that’s especially welcome news for those in addiction recovery. If you’re like many people with an underlying substance abuse disorder, time management in recovery during the pandemic has been something of a challenge. Keeping up with much-needed routines, meeting with your counselors while in quarantine aren’t easy, nor is maintaining the social connections you rely on for strength and support.
Even if you’ve slipped in recovery during the pandemic, all hope is not lost. Recovery treatment centers like The Raleigh House can provide compassionate support and solutions. Until you can get help, it’s important to take actions on your own and with the help of family and friends that can help you work through the challenges of developing a sober lifestyle again.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the common recovery pitfalls to watch for and suggest options for an addiction recovery daily schedule to help you get back on track and stay there.
4 Pandemic Challenges of Recovery
If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, we urge you to do that as soon as possible. People who’ve engaged in substance abuse may be at even greater risk for illness and/or relapse due to 4 factors:
- Weakened ability to manage stress – Past alcohol and drug abuse can affect your body’s ability to manage stress which could leave you vulnerable to slipping back into these behaviors.
- Lowered ability to fend off illness – Alcohol and drugs can affect your immune system’s defense mechanism and make you more susceptible to viruses including Coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Effects of prolonged isolation – A key part of recovery is developing and maintaining supportive relationships. The pandemic has made both of those goals especially challenging and many in recovery have struggled mightily in quarantine.
- Disruptions to important routines – Good time management in recovery is a critical component of a success recovery. Unfortunately, the pandemic has thrown a wrench into everyone’s routines. For those in recovery, the disruption may open the door to giving into cravings.
A Sample Daily Schedule for Early Recovery
The greatest challenge for those in early recovery is leaving behind the accountability and security of being in a controlled treatment program. Success in transition is all about making and sticking to your own rules and routines. Your time and how you spend it is up to you. It’s exhilarating and even scary. Adding the need to deal with a pandemic is downright daunting.
To take control of your cravings you need to take control of your time with a robust daily routine. This can be trickier if you’re still quarantining, but it is possible.
Post-pandemic, what might a sample daily schedule for early recovery look like?
- Detailed meal planning and specified mealtimes
- Daily exercise and/or sports, along with fresh air
- Planning when you go to sleep and wake up
- Sticking to work or school schedules
- Setting goals and days to perform daily and weekly chores
(housecleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, etc.)
- Making time for staying social (meeting sober friends for coffee,
- Skype sessions with family, recovery support meetings and/or
- Scheduling self-care time (mindfulness exercises, reading, listening to music, etc.)
A white board is a great way to set up and view your schedule – it will also give you the satisfaction of checking off your to-do’s as they are completed.
As we look toward a post-pandemic time, keep in mind that developing successful time management in recovery and personal accountability skills will take time. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself and, above all, don’t give up. You can do this. Most important, remember that help and support is always a phone call away when you have a compassionate resource like The Raleigh House to turn to.
How The Raleigh House Can Help
If you begin to feel that your sobriety is at risk, or the stress of managing recovery on your own is too much, The Raleigh House is open and ready to help you feel more in control of your situation with a variety of outpatient and residential treatment programs. Addiction does not have to define you. Hope and solutions are a phone call away. To reach out to us for help, give us a call or fill out our contact request form and one of our team members will be in touch shortly.