When news of the pandemic first broke, people were understandably scared, stressed and anxious. They didn’t know what to expect or how this was going to affect them and their loved ones. And change certainly did happen. Schools closed. Businesses were shut down. People were told to work from home.
But we adjusted. And there were some good things that came out of the pandemic, such as people being able to work from home and families spending more time together. Now that the country is opening back up, many people have mixed feelings. They’re happy to be returning to a sense of normalcy, but there are some things they want to hold onto.
If you’re currently feeling conflicted, know that it is normal. As a person in recovery, you might even be having a harder time adjusting to this transition than you did the pandemic. Your friends are going out and your coworkers are meeting for drinks. With more stress and temptation, here are a few tips to help you stay strong as the world reopens.
Decide What Things You Want to Keep
The world will keep turning no matter what is going on, so use this mentality for strength. You’re probably happy to get back to certain things, like dining at a restaurant or going to the movie theater, but there are other things you probably want to wait on such as returning to the office or attending family gatherings.
Your recovery comes first, so take things slow as you transition into the everyday world. What things have worked well for you this past year? What things haven’t? You can then take the appropriate steps to hang onto some of the changes that made you happy. Talk to your boss about continuing to work from home, at least some of the time.
Establish New Goals for the Rest of the Year
Now that we’re halfway through the year, it’s not a bad time to refresh your goals. After all, things looked very different back in January. Now people are getting vaccinated and states are opening up, so your goals might look very different.
If you’re looking to get out, consider volunteering at a local organization. Or maybe you’re ready to start attending your 12-step meetings in-person or pursuing your favorite hobby. Having goals to focus on keeps you grounded and prevents you from worrying about the things you can’t control.
Recognize that Change Takes Time
People have been waiting for the pandemic to end, but now that we’re closer to getting things under control, there’s a new sense of loss. In the past year, relationships have changed and milestones have been missed. For many people in addiction recovery, things still feel ‘off’ and this can trigger the need to use.
Remember that change takes time. No one is expected to jump back into the way things were in 2019 overnight. In fact, we’ll probably always look at things differently after this experience. As you go through change, be sure to practice self-care. Eat healthy meals, exercise each day, manage your stress and get enough rest.
Your Recovery is Always in Motion
This past year has been one for the books! Most of us never imagined living through a pandemic, and yet here we are. As things return to normal, know that mixed feelings are to be expected. Give yourself grace, stay connected to your sober peers and stay on track with your recovery goals. In time, COVID-19 will be another experience to reflect upon.
Awakenings Treatment Center in Agoura Hills, CA offers a number of treatment programs to help our clients achieve and maintain sobriety. Contact us today to learn more about our holistic outpatient treatment services.