Are you stuck working from home? So many Americans have seen their normal daily routines shattered due to COVID-19. At first, it sounded nice: wearing sweats, spending more time with your kids, not getting road rage every morning stuck in traffic. Then reality set in: endless Zoom calls, the quarantine fifteen, and kids bouncing off of the walls. With the state of the country still in the unknown and long-term quarantine sanctions pending, some companies are in talks about even making at home work permanent. For people in active addiction or in addiction recovery, working from home can be extra challenging. Here’s how to cope.
There are symptoms of COVID-19, and then there are the symptoms of quarantine. Being cooped up at home causes serious stress, anxiety, worry, and despair — all feelings that trigger a desire to drink alcohol or use drugs.
Quarantine Recovery Tip #1: Ask for help.
Remember that help is still just a text or phone call away. If you’re already in recovery, attend Zoom meetings or stay in touch with your fellowship friends to stay centered. If you’re struggling with an active addiction while working from home, reach out to us for support. You don’t have to commit to going to treatment if you just want to talk about your options. We’ve been there and we can help.
Remember that we’re all in this together, and we’re all facing entirely new situations. If you have kids, you have now become a teacher, in addition to trying to work a full time job. Performance anxiety might have you chained to your desk, trying to prove to your boss or clients that you are really working. Due to these drastic changes to our lives, we have now blurred the lines between work and home. That means that the lines between partying and working have blurred, too.
Maybe you used to consider yourself a social drinker, but now have transitioned to drinking or using at home alone for your down time. You might even have started to drink during those zoom meetings. Or at least, you’re tempted.
Quarantine Recovery Tip #2: Maintain boundaries.
Not only those in recovery, but anyone struggling with working from home, can benefit from maintaining boundaries. If your work day feels like it has become 24/7, and that you are expected to answer emails and be readily available at all times, you probably need to institute some boundaries. It is more crucial than ever to pursue self care and keep mental health in check during these challenging times.
This is why putting boundaries in place for yourself should become a priority. What does that even mean? Take that lunch or coffee break you normally would take if you were in the office. Remember that everyone is in a similar situation, so your clients and your boss should be understanding if you don’t answer emails after hours. Keep your schedule as similar to pre-COVID-19 days as possible. We are creatures of habit and keeping our routines keeps our stress levels down — which reduces the desire to drink or use.
If you would normally work 9 to 5, then don’t feel pressured to respond or continue to work after your designated hours. Take that time for yourself — and use it well.
Quarantine Recovery Tip #3: Keep up with self-care.
Trying to keep up with a normal pace in times that are anything but normal will leave you over-worked and exhausted. Add in blurred lines between work and home-life, and you’re likely to choose unhealthy coping mechanisms. Maybe you would have gone to the gym after work to boost your endorphins, but now you sit and drink. Maybe you would have gone to a meeting, but now you’re watching Netflix. The minute we lose our boundaries, our whole world becomes a tornado and it’s harder to stay clean and sober. How can you cope? Sit down with yourself and make a list of your priorities. Your mental health and your recovery should be near the top. Make those boundaries clear to keep yourself in a new, more comfortable routine that includes self-care. Self-care doesn’t have to be a bubble bath or meditation. Cleaning up your house or paying your bills can feel like self-care. Painting your nails or making your favorite cup of coffee could be the extra touch you need to make your day better. Start small, but do it.
Quarantine Recovery Tip #4: Get creative.
If you’re missing your meetings and Zoom doesn’t do it, try speaker meetings on Youtube for a dose of recovery. Quarantine means you can try new things that you haven’t had the time or space to do before, like meditating, keeping a daily gratitude list, or trying an Instagram workout plan.
In short, not even a global pandemic is a good excuse to relapse or slip further into addiction. If you’re still feeling overwhelmed and want to chat, shoot us a message at the bottom right corner of this page. Or, if you’re ready to use this time to get help once and for all, check out our ebook below.
Getting Clean & Sober at Home
Today, more than 75% of hospitals and healthcare providers offer access to telehealth treatment, with 29 states having gone so far as to enact telehealth parity laws, which force insurance companies to reimburse patients for telehealth at the same rates as they would for in-person treatment.
If you’ve been thinking about getting clean and sober, or if you’ve been wanting to work on and strengthen the recovery you already have, it’s never been easier to do it through telehealth.