Overcoming Loneliness in Recovery During the Pandemic

MastHead Outline
July 5, 2021

As social distancing continues, COVID-19 impacts our physical, emotional and social health. Loneliness is on the rise, reaching epidemic proportions. Those most at risk of fatal loneliness are the individuals struggling to maintain their sobriety. The pandemic has left many people in recovery feeling alone and struggling with depression.

If you wonder whether drugs will help you fill the void left by loneliness, you need healthy ways to combat those feelings of isolation and avoid substance abuse.

4 Ways to Combat Addiction and Loneliness During the Pandemic

Despite its status as an emotion rather than an illness, loneliness can have similar impacts on your health as smoking and obesity. It can also trigger intense cravings to use drugs, putting all your effort to recover at risk. In times of isolation, it’s vital to combat relapse and prioritize your sobriety. If unsure how to do so, use these simple steps to prevent loneliness from affecting your recovery.

1. Make a Connection

Whether you reach out to a friend, sibling or counselor, connecting with other people will help you stay healthy and more optimistic. Being alone can create emotional inertia where you believe others avoid talking to you or spending time with you. While it may take a force of will to overcome these feelings, reach out to your loved ones for support.

In our technologically advanced world, you can use countless methods of communication like texting, calling, video chatting or emailing. Knowing there’s another person who cares about you can make all the difference.

2. Reach Out to Someone Who May Be Lonely

Others are struggling with loneliness during the pandemic, too. Reaching out to a friend, neighbor or elderly family member who may also be alone is a great way to quell loneliness. Whether you make small talk or swap stories, these vital connections will help you and someone else struggling with similar emotions.

3. Engage in an Arts Program

Many art classes and programs have taken their lessons online. Creativity and art have a positive impact on overall health. As you paint, draw, make music or journal, you put all your energy into forming something beautiful. These outlets also encourage you to express your thoughts and feelings in a healthy way. You can also share the finished product with others. This experience provides a powerful sense of connection.

4. Exercise

While many gyms and in-person workout classes remain closed, it’s essential to stay active. Exercise is valuable for those in recovery because it reduces stress, helps build emotional resilience and boosts your mood. Here are some ways you can keep moving during the pandemic:

  • Get outdoors
  • Follow along with exercise videos
  • Take a virtual class
  • Tackle calorie-burning chores, such as gardening, cleaning the garage or washing the car

Receive Opioid Addiction Support at AppleGate Recovery

If you or someone you love struggles with opioid addiction, sobriety is possible. Even if you were doing well in your recovery journey before the loneliness of the pandemic hit you, you can still overcome addiction. Medication-assisted treatment and compassionate counseling are available at AppleGate Recovery. Learn how to get started here.