Isolation and loneliness are two of the biggest risk factors for relapse. In a time when we’re all being told to stay home and avoid people, how can a person in recovery still avoid becoming lonely or isolated? There are a number of sober activities a person can do while practicing social distancing. These activities can help you stay connected and avoid the feelings of loneliness and isolation.
1) Video Chats
Numerous platforms allow people to have a face-to-face conversation with others who may be many miles away. Google Hangouts, Zoom, Facetime, Facebook Messenger, Skype, and many other options can allow you to hear a friendly voice and see a familiar face when you need it most. These tools aren’t limited to friends and family. It is also possible to participate in recovery meetings, therapy, and sessions with your sponsor via video chat platforms.
If you want to hear a human voice or just need a little background noise, consider enjoying an audiobook. Multiple platforms offer free access to audiobooks right now. One such platform is Audible, which offers children’s books but also classics like Jane Eyre, Les Miserables, and Frankenstein. Another option for free audiobooks is Audiobook Cloud. Your local library may have additional options that you can access through your membership there.
Exercise is often advised for helping people stay on track in their sobriety. Your preferred gym may be closed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get in a good workout. In fact, you might be able to take some free fitness classes, thanks to free sessions that are being offered online.
4) Learn a New Skill
As reported by Parade Magazine, many schools and other programs are offering free online classes right now. Take this opportunity to learn a variety of skills, including the following:
- Foreign languages
- Photo editing
- Stop motion animation
- Floral design
- Tactical empathy
5) Expand Your Knowledge
Not all classes have to be geared toward learning a new skill. Sometimes it’s nice to learn about a historical topic or how something works. The Parade Magazine article lists some of these types of classes too:
- Roman architecture
- Puppet marking and puppetry
- Learning to love yourself
If classes aren’t really your thing but you like knowing how the world around you operates, you might also enjoy HowStuffWorks, a website that can answer questions you may have never even thought to ask.
6) Get Organized
There may be no better time to get your space decluttered than when you are stuck in it for a while. If you aren’t sure where to begin, try the free online class called “The Organizing Formula”. If you’re looking for less of a commitment, acclaimed Japanese organization expert Marie Kondo has free Youtube videos and a series on Netflix in which she shares her advice for making spaces more orderly and letting go of unneeded stuff.
7) Find Opportunities to Volunteer
Although a lot of the places where people typically volunteer aren’t currently available, there are still plenty of ways to give back. Volunteer Match is currently offering opportunities for volunteering during social distancing. Some of their opportunities are in person, while others allow for virtual volunteering. Volunteering is a perfect example of positive and beneficial sober activities.
8) Reconnect with Nature
Whether it’s going hiking, starting a garden or just taking a few minutes to watch the birds flying around outside, nature can be very healing. In fact, activities related to enjoying nature are considered their own branch of mental health interventions, called ecotherapy. Ecotherapy ranks high on many peoples’ list of sober activities.
9) Take a Virtual Trip
Travel isn’t advised right now, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take a virtual tour of a museum, zoo, or national park. You can now take in the Sistine Chapel, Yellowstone National Park, the many historical sites of Virginia, and much more, all for free, within a single afternoon and without changing out of your pajamas.
10) Watch a Movie Together…Separately
If you and friends have Netflix and Chrome, you can have a viewing party together, from your separate locations, via Netflix Party. Your viewing experience will be synced and there is a group chat feature. This has the added benefit of not having to worry about one person hogging all of the snacks.
We Are Open
If you are struggling right now to maintain a clean, sober lifestyle in the midst of these stressful, social distancing times, Safe Harbor Recovery Center is here to help. We are accepting clients and would be happy to talk with you about your needs. Contact us today.