How to Maintain Recovery During Isolation: 6 Tips from Nataki Watson, a Primary Counselor at Fellowship Hall

May 27, 2020

How to Maintain Recovery During Isolation: 6 Tips from Nataki Watson, a Primary Counselor at Fellowship Hall

It may sound cliché but right now we really are living in unprecedented times. There is immense anxiety and uncertainty all around. Staying focused, grounded, and connected have become quite difficult. The recovery community is built on the power of connection, so it stands to reason that maintaining one’s recovery in a time when we are all isolated from one another can seem like a momentous task.

Here are 6 recommendations for maintaining your recovery:

  • Change the Channel

Stop watching the news!! It is incredibly overwhelming the amount of scary or sad news there is out there being constantly streamed in through the television, radio, and social media. Five minutes glancing through news stories is enough to raise your anxiety exponentially. There is a benefit to staying informed, but sticking to reputable news sources for a small allotment of time is more than enough information. Instead of reading or watching endless news, try a new book, or podcast, or TV show. This is also a good time to pick up some new recovery literature. The point is to replace the negative with something positive and uplifting; and if that can also be something that is recovery oriented, all the better.

  • Keep an Open Mind

The cool thing about this time is we are discovering new ways of connecting with each other. Although it may not be in person, technology (and more free time) is allowing folks to reconnect with friends and loved ones all over the world. For some, it is really daunting not being able to attend meetings in person. Keeping an open mind and embracing technology can allow you to expand your meeting attendance in number, as well as geography. It’s been pretty cool dropping in on meetings all over the world, at all times of day! There are opportunities for smaller groups to coordinate and meet for more private and intimate talks as well. This is a great time to think outside the box to figure out how to use technology as a plus to boost your recovery. Staying connected with your network is vital; now is the time to lean into each other.

  • Get Up and Get Out

When in doubt, get up and go outside! Personally, the closing of gyms has been HORRIBLE for me!! But, I decided to stop complaining about it and go outside. I have tried new trails, taken longer walks, and I even tried jogging…which I said I would NEVER do! The fresh air and exercise is great for anxiety and helps boost your mood. Even a walk around the neighborhood is invigorating and helps when your mind starts going down some negative paths. This is also a good time to listen to your favorite music, catch up on a podcast, or listen to an audio book. Again, use technology to your advantage! There are several great recovery based podcasts out there that are very helpful as well. A few to try out are: The Bubble Hour, Busy Living Sober, The Sober Guy, and The Boiled Owl Coffee Club.

  • Keep Calm and Carry On

I cannot stress enough (no pun intended) the importance of meditation. You don’t need to be perfect at it, just intentional. The more you practice, the better you will be. It doesn’t take much at all to begin to feel the real benefits of it. Spirituality is the core of recovery. Taking time to reconnect with yourself-and your Higher Power- will go a long way to easing your stress. YouTube is full of thousands of different meditations that vary in type and length. There’s something for everyone regardless of your level of comfort or expertise. There are also several meditation apps available, many of which are free or low cost. A few suggestions are 12 Step Meditation and Daily Reflections for AA, NA, and Al-Anon; Calm; Ten Percent Happier; and Headspace.

  • Lend a Helping Hand

One of the best ways to get out of your head and boost your mood is to show kindness to others. Service can be done in a wide variety of ways, and there is no better time than a global pandemic to show a little love to someone else. Although we must keep our distance, this is a great time to let others know that you see them and they matter. Volunteering to pick up groceries for an elderly neighbor; helping a friend’s child with their homework over video chat so their parent can take a break; or sending a hand written card or note to a friend or loved one that you haven’t spoken to in a while are just a few examples of things that you can do to take your mind off what may be troubling you and keep you busy giving back and sowing a little kindness. Get creative with it; nothing supports healthy recovery like service.

  • Keep an Attitude of Gratitude

Last but certainly not least, take a moment or two each day to remember all the things you have to be grateful for. We all have so much to be grateful for, including the fact that you have made it through another day without drinking or using. Sometimes, that fact can be easily blocked out by the noise and the chaos of all the things that feel like they are going wrong and are definitely out of our control. Being intentional and taking the time to really count your blessings, is a quick way to help you regroup and refocus.

About the writer, Primary Counselor Nataki Watson

Nataki Watson is a Primary Counselor at Fellowship Hall. Prior to joining the Fellowship Hall team, she worked as a Behavioral Assessment Counselor and Inpatient Case Manager. As a former Assessment Counselor, she completed psycho-social assessments with new guests entering treatment where she enjoyed meeting and getting to know each guest as they began, or sometimes continued, their recovery journey. She is passionate about connecting with others and providing them with the opportunity to really be seen and heard.

 

 

 

About Fellowship Hall
Fellowship Hall is a 99-bed, private, not-for-profit alcohol and drug treatment center located on 120 tranquil acres in Greensboro, N.C. We provide treatment and evidence-based programs built upon the Twelve-Step model of recovery. We have been accredited by The Joint Commission since 1974 as a specialty hospital and are a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers. We are committed to providing exceptional, compassionate care to every individual we serve.

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