The COVID-19 pandemic has upended our daily lives, and the resulting uncertainty has made 2020 a stressful year. While the CDC’s recommendations about maintaining social distancing, thorough handwashing and wearing face coverings are the best ways to save lives and flatten the curve, observing these new rules has limited our ability to gather with the people we care about.
Most people are still staying home except for essential errands and avoiding unnecessary contact with others. However, six months into the pandemic, you might be starting to get restless or lonely, and craving a return to normalcy. How can you follow social distancing guidelines without feeling isolated?
1. Get Involved in the Community
One way to feel good about yourself while simultaneously benefiting others is to be a good neighbor. If you’re lucky enough to have plenty to eat, put a shelf in your yard and stock it with shelf-stable foods like canned vegetables, dried pasta and beans, peanut butter and soup. Post a sign that encourages food-insecure people to take what they need, while those who are more fortunate can add contributions from their pantries.
Another thing you can do to give back is to be a virtual volunteer. Plenty of organizations still need helping hands, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll reap the rewards of volunteerism while feeling a sense of connection to the world around you. Encourage loved ones to sign up for volunteer activities with you for extra enjoyment.
2. Host Online Meetups
Even before the emergence of the novel coronavirus, technology gave us plenty of opportunities to stay connected at a distance. Apps like Facetime, Skype, Houseparty, Zoom and Google Hangouts have been gaining in popularity for years, but they’ve exploded in the six months of COVID-19. If you’ve been missing regular get-togethers with friends and family members, organize a meetup using one of these options. It’s up to you whether you have a low-key chat, or do something more involved like a game or movie night.
3. Be Grateful for What You Have
Staying home and socially distanced might have seemed like a blessing at first. Having everyone in your household together all the time brought opportunities for increased connection and closeness, and encouraged people to find new activities they could enjoy doing together. Now, however, the togetherness might have lost some of its luster. If you’ve started getting cabin fever and feeling stuck within the same four walls, nerves can fray and tensions can rise. Even small misunderstandings can take on outsized significance in this type of pressure-cooker environment.
If you find yourself irritable or unreasonably angry with your spouse, children or any other people who have been quarantining with you, pause, take a deep breath and recenter yourself. You may need a reminder of how lucky you are to have a safe space where you can stay healthy, surrounded by people who love you.
Rebuild Connections With Your Family
Isolation is not only a genuine risk associated with this pandemic – it’s also a hallmark of many substance use disorders. If an uncontrolled addiction to alcohol or drugs has caused a rift between you and your loved ones, you can repair those damaged relationships and discover the joys of living a sober lifestyle.
At New Found Life, we believe restoring the connection to people who care most about you is an essential component of addiction recovery. To learn more about our family program and other treatment offerings, contact us today.