Life is changing rapidly for everyone, and people in recovery have been adapting to the change just like others. 12-step meetings are, for example, lifesaving. Socializing has changed since the introduction of COVID-19 restrictions. As soon as the world shut down, online meetings took over. Socializing in recovery and adapting the recovery lifestyle to these changes was a task that began immediately in every region of the US.
If you’re in recovery, you probably attend some online meetings right now. Usually, the meetings are local, although there are other meetings that you can attend that are exclusively-online. There are even large meetings that allow people to participate via the telephone.
Socializing During the Holidays
This year, things may be different for you during the holidays. Maybe this is the first year you have been sober for the holidays. Or maybe, you’re worried about celebrating the holidays amid a pandemic. Either way, the way you celebrate your holidays this year is bound to be different. That doesn’t mean it has to be gloomy or lonely.
Are you, like many people, staying home and celebrating with housemates this year? You can still make things meaningful and celebrate with your family from a distance.
8 Activities You Can Do, Virtually/Online
There are a lot of ways to connect with others in recovery online. Some of these activities are recovery-focused, but you can also just set up things to have fun! Socializing is about building friendships, letting go, and having fun! So of course you can have fun together without being super serious.
- “Netflix and Chill”: One of the most common ways people have been spending their is by setting up a day and time to stream a movie and chatting with their friends while they do it.
- Bake together, virtually. Use your phone or computer to set up a camera so you can socialize with your friends or family. Choose a recipe that you, and the people you conference with, can bake together. You can chat and compare notes as you create cookies or bread with each other.
- AA or NA Book Readings. If you have the Big Book or Basic Text, why not use the winter months to “deep dive” into the literature a bit? Meet with a few friends to read a specific chapter every week and share notes.
- Start a gratitude journal group. You, and others in recovery, commit to making a gratitude list every day. At the end of the week, you have an online meeting to share your lists’ highlights.
- Start an exercise group where everyone commits to walking or running a certain number of minutes every day. Keep a tracking log online and compare distances/times.
- Play video games together online. Create a team/klan of people who are only in recovery and fight battles together.
- Do a Livestream talent show with friends in recovery and have them invite their contacts to the show. Use the proceeds to help your local 12-step meetings stay afloat or donate the cause to a local food pantry.
- Create a DIY art therapy group online. Each week, create a different art therapy project with a different theme. Take turns leading the projects. (For example, week one could be making a dream board, while week two could be a painting that expresses a feeling like “anxiety” or “peace.”)
These are just a few ideas on how you can connect with others meaningfully, even if you have to stay remote. Be creative, and don’t be afraid to make suggestions to your friends or support network. Everyone is learning to adapt to the “new norma,” and it’s fun to brainstorm with others about ways to make that happen.
Staying in touch with people this winter is essential. It’s easy to isolate when the weather is dreary, and you’re told to stay home. Try to reach out to others and let them know how you’re doing. Ask them how they are doing, too. Invite them to an online get-together and see where it goes. It’s better sitting at home, doing nothing, alone.
Getting Help for Addiction
Addiction is a disease that affects your mind, body, and spirit. By getting sober, you can learn how to rebuild all of these aspects of your life. You deserve another chance! Give us a call at 800-970-8774 to find out more about your options.