The pandemic was hard on every one of us.
When COVID-19 hit the United States and the world, all of our lives changed in a flash. Our active social lives suddenly came to a halt. Work, for many, went remote. Kids began attending school from home. Everyone was nervous and on edge about a virus we at first knew very little about.
People in recovery experienced even more challenges. Everyone felt stressed out and apprehensive about the future when the pandemic began, and as it progressed, these feelings increased for a lot of people. Furthermore, people working on their recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol were unable to meet with counselors, psychologists, and support groups – at least not in the same way they were used to. Many support services went virtual, but some simply dissolved.
Now, although the true end of the pandemic is still a long way off, things today are finally getting back to normal. Vaccinated people are able to return to activities they enjoyed before. They can get together with their friends and families. Restaurants are open, concerts and festivals are happening, and many people are even getting back to domestic and international travel as well.
However, for some, getting back to “normal” is a challenge, too. Many people are resistant to change; some finally got used to the new ways of doing things, and now that we’re returning to the old ways again, they are having difficulty adjusting yet again.
Furthermore, many still feel anxiety about the coronavirus and worry about potential illness even if they are vaccinated. Stress levels are still high for a large portion of our nation’s population.
After the year we’ve had, that’s no surprise to anyone.
We all have changed as a result of the pandemic, and some of us are just getting used to those changes. People in recovery always face many challenges – every day of their lives. Add in these additional challenges, and it’s no wonder many continue to struggle with stress, anxiety, loneliness, and other issues.
All of these factors can threaten one’s sobriety in both the short and long term. If you’re someone in recovery who is a bit nervous about “getting back to normal,” read on to learn some tips for doing so and for setting your mind at ease along the way.
How to Get Back Out There After the Pandemic
Some people are very excited to get back out into the world as the pandemic comes to an end. Others still aren’t so sure. These tips should help you be ready for anything.
Take It Slow
You don’t have to dive right back into everything right away. Take your time and take it slow. For example, on your first few outings back into the world, only go out with a few select friends, and make sure they are also dedicated to a clean and sober lifestyle.
From there, you can work your way up to spending time with larger groups and with friends who aren’t also in recovery. Eventually, you’ll soon find that you’re ready for any activity or social event that comes up.
Recognize Your Fears
Many of your concerns about getting back to “regular” life are likely well-founded. In the celebratory post-pandemic period, it’s likely that a lot of people will be celebrating with drugs and alcohol. You might want to avoid parties, concerts, and other similar events for a while. If you take the time to recognize these events as a potential issue, it will be easier for you to respond appropriately when you are invited.
Journaling is a great tool to help you recognize and overcome your fears before they become an issue. Writing down your thoughts and coming up with potential solutions before these problems arise will ensure that you are ready for anything.
If you’re feeling nervous about attending an event, take some time to use visualization beforehand. Visualize the event and think about what it will be like. Imagine how you will act and respond to what’s happening around you. Picture yourself having a good time and everything being fun and enjoyable, but also safe. Imagine how you want it to be; it will be whatever you want it to be.
Talk About It
Feeling apprehensive about getting back out there? Talk about your concerns and hesitancies with friends and other support systems. They may be able to set your mind at ease more easily than you can yourself. Talking about something makes it real. Then, you can begin to face it.
Keep Following Precautions
The pandemic isn’t over. At the time of this writing, the Delta variant is surging in many parts of the United States. Therefore, we still need to be careful. We should continue to wash our hands and monitor our health. Many people continue to wear masks when indoors or in outdoor crowds. Others choose to only hang with vaccinated people. Don’t be afraid to ask others about their precautions or vaccination status. Whatever makes you most comfortable is the right path for you.
Remember, You’re in Control
One thing to keep in mind as we get back to socializing and other activities is that you are in control of your choices. If something doesn’t feel right for you, then don’t do it. You can choose to attend some events and to skip others. If you feel like you are struggling with your sobriety, call your support system for help. Follow the above suggestions and your own pace. The choice to do things or not to do things is entirely yours – only by following your heart and mind will you continue to succeed in recovery, so do exactly that.
Do What’s Right for You
As all of the above tips suggest, doing what’s right for you is the most important thing. The world has changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are all changed too. What was right for you and your recovery a few years ago may not be what is right for you and your recovery today. Take it slow, take it easy, get support when you need it, and ease back into life. There is no rush at all; do what’s right for you.
Ready to start your recovery? At Clear Sky Recovery, we are here to help you get started on your path to recovery. Our ibogaine detox treatment is innovative and effective, and our staff is standing by to answer any questions you may have about our staff, our facility, or the process. Please give us a call today! We can’t wait to hear from you!
Dr. Sola is one of the world’s leading experts in medically-based ibogaine treatment; he has more clinical experience with safe and effective ibogaine administration than any other M.D. in the world today.