Thanksgiving is only a couple of days away, which means that now is an excellent time to start planning. It’s vital to have a schedule for navigating the holiday so that you can keep your recovery intact. It’s no secret that the holiday season is challenging for people in recovery, but that does not mean you can’t continue making progress.
This Thanksgiving is likely to be different than any other before it; the COVID-19 pandemic forces us to change our practices. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidelines about traveling and getting together with one another. The CDC warns:
“Gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.”
The public health organization recommends celebrating virtually or with the people you live with only. Making safe choices is essential, considering that the number of new coronavirus cases skyrocketed over the last couple of weeks. Some 257,629 Americans have died from COVID-19 to date, and millions of people are infected as we speak.
One of the most important things you can do to safeguard your health is to avoid traveling. Being in busy airports or transportation centers can increase your risk of becoming infected. If you must travel, always wear a mask in public settings, wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.
A Virtual Thanksgiving in Recovery
This year, the majority of the recovery community has become familiar with virtual 12 Step meetings. Video conferencing platforms have made it easier for the Fellowship to thrive despite stay-at-home orders and social distancing.
Check with your peers to see how they will be celebrating Thanksgiving. Some people may be hosting virtual dinners, and they may invite you to attend if you’re staying home this Thursday. Do whatever you can to avoid isolating this week. That may mean taking part in more virtual meetings than usual.
If you do not have experience using video conferencing for recovery, please reach out to a peer for guidance. There will be 12 Step meetings happening at the top of every hour this week; the more you attend, the better able you will be to cope with this challenging time of the year.
Protecting your recovery also means reaching out to newcomers who may be having their first clean and sober holiday. Many will struggle to cope with the emotions that arise from being isolated and cut off from their family during the holiday.
Giving Thanks and Gratitude
As the name implies, Thanksgiving is about gratitude. Take some time this week to jot down all things that you are grateful for today. Your list will probably include those individuals who have been instrumental to your recovery.
Be sure to pick up the phone and thank all the men and women who have helped you make progress in recovery. The practice will make you feel good and make the other person’s day. Recovery is a collaborative effort; we do not recover alone.
Keep your gratitude list handy for difficult times of the day. This Thanksgiving is unusual, and many will have to contend with unwanted feelings and emotions. It can be easy to succumb to anxiety and depression when one is isolated. Whenever times get tough, pick up the phone, or hop onto a virtual meeting to ground yourself.
Seeking Assistance for Addiction
At Pacific Shores Recovery, we continue to help men and women begin the journey of recovery during these challenging times. Please reach out to us if your or a loved one is battling addiction or a co-occurring disorder. We invite you to call us at 949-574-2510 to learn more about our programs and services. We offer a full continuum of care from detox to sober living.