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How to stay sober during Coronavirus lockdown


If you are in recovery, new to sobriety or trying to stop drinking, how to stay sober during the coronavirus lockdown is bound to be a pressing concern.

The coming weeks and months are going to prove challenging for everyone, even more so for those that suffer from alcoholism.

If you are fortunate enough to be in recovery from active alcohol addiction, the current lockdown due to Covid-19 means you will need to find alternative ways in which to safeguard your sobriety. This will prove most difficult for those that are newly sober or trying to get sober.

Port of Call specialise in the professional treatment of drug and alcohol addiction.

Here we suggest some helpful tips that you can put into practical application to help you stay sober throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Adapting to drastic change

It is a well known fact that those that suffer from addiction struggle to adapt to change. Addicts and alcoholics suffer from deeply intrenched thought patterns and behaviours that served their active addiction. The coronavirus enforced changes to our daily lives, will naturally invoke sometimes overwhelming feelings of fear.

Safeguarding your mental health during this period of restriction is vital in maintaining sobriety. For all the negatives and uncertainty that coronavirus brings, there are some positives to be found. Approached with the correct mindset, the lockdown period can even prove beneficial to those that commit to self development and growth.

Try viewing the lockdown as an opportunity for healing, reflection and self improvement. Commit to not letting it making your weaker or even stay the same. Commit to becoming stronger as a result of overcoming the daily challenges you will have to face. 

Even when the world is in turmoil, inner peace and harmony can still be found. Imagine coming out of the coronavirus stronger, more grateful and more positive than ever before. 

10 practical tips to safeguard sobriety during Covid-19

Recovery from alcoholism is an ongoing process. It is a journey, not a destination. From time to time life will seem cruel, frightening, sad and unpredictable. Some things you can never truly prepare for, you can only learn to accept and adapt.

In order to safeguard your sobriety during the cornovarius pandemic Port of Call feel it is just as important to look after your mental, social, spiritual and physical health. 

Here are our top ten tips to help prevent alcoholic relapse during the Covid-19 lockdown period:

  1. Implement structure to your day – Getting up and going to sleep at a regular time, washing and dressing daily,and having a routine that best suits you as an individual will help achieve a sense of normality.
  2. Self-care –  Eat as healthily as you can, take regular exercise, minimise exposure to negative energy from others, ensure your get sunlight/day light every day. Even if housebound you can sit by your front door, in your garden or by an open window. It is also important to be kind to yourself and not beat yourself up if you have a bad few days.
  3. Commit to calling or facetiming at least three people a day – We suggest at least one call to a supportive person in sobriety, one call to a person who is perhaps new to sobriety and would benefit from your support and your third call may be to a friend, loved one or family member. If you are unable to pick up the phone then a text message will still help you connect with others.
  4. Maintain your recovery programme on a daily basis – Whatever helped you to get sober and stay sober, ensure that you keep doing it daily. This may be through an alcohol rehab, Alcoholics Anonymous or another means. 
  5. Do at least one thing a day you enjoy – This may be cooking, exercising, spending time in the garden, reading, writing, music, meditation or watching a film.
  6. Commit to learning something new – Keeping intellectually stimulated is important. It helps with motivation levels and provides a sense of accomplishment. You may decide to undertake a new course in education or take up a new hobby such as art, craft or learn to play a music instrument.
  7. Limit the amount of time you spend on unproductive activities – Social media, dating applications, gambling and gaming are all potential sources of developing another addiction. This will make you more prone to alcoholic relapse. Instead, invest in nurturing activities that feed and heal the soul.
  8. Write a daily gratitude list – Gratitude lists are a great way of remembering the simple things in life that really count and instilling a positive mindset. You would be surprised the impact this can have on your mood for the day ahead. 
  9. Practice mindfulness. – Mindfulness has proven to be a great asset in maintaining recovery from alcoholism. Mindfulness helps you to connect with your inner-self and keep you present in the moment. You can learn about mindfulness on YouTube and the internet
  10. Avoid constantly watching the news – Repeated exposure to negativity and fear can lead to an overly anxious mind. Instead implement the government safety guidelines for you and your household by taking personal responsibility for your own welfare.

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What to do if you are tempted to drink during coronavirus lockdown. 

During the coronavirus lockdown it is not only recovering alcoholics that struggle to maintain sobriety, many individuals are turning to alcohol as a source of comfort and a way to pass the time.

If you feel tempted to drink alcohol when you are trying to abstain, please try the following methods to help reduce your alcohol cravings and thoughts:

  1. Call someone in recovery – Speak honestly to someone you trust and who understands recovery. By admitting you are having these thoughts and cravings you take the power out of it. If you do not know anyone we recommend calling Alcoholic Anonymous helpline on 0800 9177650
  2. Help someone else – This is another proven method that breaks obsessive and negative thought patterns. Help a family member in your household and call someone else who is struggling with their own sobriety
  3. Write down anything that is causing you to feel resentment or fear – Alcoholism feeds on negative emotions that are quite often a distortion of the truth. Share your writing with someone you trust. Another persons input may help you gain a better perspective
  4. Tell yourself you will see how you feel tomorrow – More often than not, a new day brings a fresh start. If the thoughts remain, the underlying reasons will have been building for a while. It is important that you examine what is possibly lacking in your recovery and make the appropriate changes
  5. Press the pause button – HALT – Are you hungry, angry, lonely or tired? These are all well known triggers for alcoholic relapse and are all easily remedied. Sugar cravings can often be mistaken for alcohol cravings so reach for the sweets instead of the booze.

I’ve relapsed on alcohol and need help

If you do succumb to alcohol and relapse during Covid-19, do not be hard on yourself or the reasons why. It is vital to focus on the overriding problem, that you are drinking again and that this could lead to losing everything, even your life.

Port of Call are here to help you in your time of need. Please do not hesitate to pick up the phone and speak to one of our addiction experts who will offer a free of charge alcohol treatment assessment – 0800 002 9010

By calling Port of  Call you are taking the first step to getting back on the road to sobriety. Our experts will be able to advise you of the best course of action to take given your individual circumstances and personal treatment needs.

Other helpful organisations:

Alcoholics Anonymous UK https://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/members/regional-&-local-websites/Not~in~a~Region/Online-Groups/Meetings
Smart Recovery https://smartrecovery.org.uk
Mindhttps://www.mind.org.uk
Samaritanshttps://www.samaritans.org
Alcohol detox08000029010.



About the author: Martin Preston

Martin is our Founder and Chief Executive. Martin is himself in long term recovery and started Port of Call to help families navigate treatment options. In 2020 Martin will open Delamere Health Ltd, the UK’s first purpose built addiction treatment clinic.


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