The holiday season begins tomorrow with Thanksgiving, and we are hopeful that you have a plan for maintaining your recovery. This year is a lot different than previous years owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of you will have to steer clear of loved ones on behalf of health and safety.
Yesterday in our country, there were 178,200 new cases and 2,216 deaths from the coronavirus. The third wave of the pandemic is proving to be the worst phase of the pandemic yet. Hopefully, a vaccine will be available in the near future, but we will all have to continue adhering to public health agency protocols for the time being.
This time of year is already challenging for individuals in recovery, especially for those new to working a program. One must be especially vigilant in order to protect their progress. There are many ways that you can get tripped up due to the high likelihood of facing triggers that can precipitate a relapse.
The best way to get through the holidays is to continue practicing the principles of recovery in all your affairs. What’s more, you must stick to your routine as best as possible. Many of you will have to spend Thanksgiving away from family, friends, and members of your support network. As such, it’s vital to take advantage of virtual support tools.
A Virtual Thanksgiving
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone avoid traveling if possible this Thanksgiving. It’s vital to limit your contact with anyone who does not live with you. The CDC cautions, “Travel can increase the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.”
The CDC suggests that you engage in lower-risk activities to prevent the contraction and spread of coronavirus. Lower risk activities include:
- Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household.
- Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others.
- Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family.
- Shopping online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving or the next Monday.
- Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home
Most members of the recovery community already have experience with video conferencing platforms. Perhaps you have attended 12 Step meetings online over the past several months. You are encouraged to plan to participate in virtual meetings tomorrow, especially if Thanksgiving is an emotional day for you.
Participating in meetings is an excellent way to process the emotions that might crop up from being away from friends and family tomorrow. Reach out to your support network members to determine if anyone is hosting a virtual Thanksgiving dinner for people in recovery.
The important thing is not to isolate, even if you find yourself alone during Thanksgiving. The recovery community is always at hand to help you get through challenging days of the year. Please be sure to reach out to members of your homegroup, particularly newcomers, to see how they are doing with the holiday. Just showing that you care will help them and make your feel better.
Southern California Addiction Treatment Center
At Hope By The Sea, we would like to wish everyone in recovery a safe, sober, and happy Thanksgiving 2020. Please reach out to us if you need assistance with drugs, alcohol, or co-occurring mental illness. We are standing by around the clock to answer any questions about our programs and services. Please call (866) 930-4673 to learn more. Hope Starts Here!