While different countries are at various stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, here in New Zealand we are experiencing an Omicron wave that is seeing the virus spread around our community like never before.
The Government has released a checklist of ways people can prepare for Omicron - in the event of needing to isolate at home because of being a close contact or actually ill with the virus.
But I thought it might be nice to think of some extra ways that us sober people can prepare. These are just some of my ideas - please do share your thoughts and ideas in the comments. What works for me may not work for you.. and your ideas might be perfect for someone else! As always, we are all greatly strengthened by sharing and helping one another.
✮ Stock up on your favourite hot drinks
These will be particularly soothing if you are feeling under the weather. A hot drink is like a warm hug and there's no better way to tend to scratchy throats and shivery bones than with a hug in a mug. For me, it's all about herbal and green teas. You may love a strong black tea, chai latte, coffee or a lemon, honey & ginger. Whatever your favourite hot drink is, make sure you have plenty on hand and don't be afraid to shop a little more widely or adventurously to expand your supplies.
✮ Gather your soft materials
Bed socks, cardigans, knee rugs, oodies, onsies, comfy pants. These are the kinds of comfort clothes and accessories that we're going to want to wrap ourselves in if we're sick or cuddling up at home. Since getting sober I have discovered that putting on garments made from extremely soft materials is a huge relaxation trigger for me. Before Omicron reaches your door have a think about what you could go out and buy which would give you some lovely soft comfort. Or take a look around your home to see what you have on hand and give it a wash so it's all ready for use.
✮ Prepare your media
What's going to keep you stimulated while you lie around at home? TV? Podcasts? Books? If you've exhausted everything Netflix (or your favourite streaming service) has on offer, maybe now's the time to get another subscription and gain access to a bunch of new viewing materials. Podcasts are especially good for the middle of the night and there are so many good ones! Whatever you're interested in, you'll be able to find a podcast to suit. Download a few on to your device so you're all ready to go. Go online to the local library and reserve some books to be sent to your local branch, or treat yourself to a couple of new books (shop local and have them deliver). There's loads of great media around and it can help distract and sooth if you choose the right stuff. On that note...
✮ Limit your exposure to news & social media
I threw my phone on the floor today and said out loud 'enough'! I'd been surfing mindlessly for a long time and it was doing me no favours. It's ok to keep abreast of developments and updates, but it's not healthy or helpful to become obsessed by it. If you find (like I did) that you're doing too much doom scrolling, make a conscious effort to stop. Feed your brain with lovely stuff for a while instead.
✮ Consider reorgansing rooms
Have a think about where in your house you'll be hanging out during any isolation periods. If you think the bedroom might get a bit boring, how about moving your mattress into the living room for a bit? Gather all the pillows in the house to create a luxurious and well-padded snuggle zone. If you can't create a bedroom in the communual zone, try moving the seating around to give a new perpsective or make the most of the afternoon sun. My 15-year-old son says if he gets Covid he wants to move his Playstation into the main room and spend his days on the sofa - I said sure! Whatever is going to feel the most treaty and fun is worth doing at this time of sickness and being at home.
✮ Hero yourself
If you are newly sober - or even many months into your non-drinking career - and you're dealing with this pandemic without booze, you are a goddam hero and deserve to be treated like one. Take every opportunity to hero and treat yourself royally. Bring out your best china, burn that fancy scented candle you've been saving, order fancy foods to be delivered, whatever is the ultimate treat for you - organise that. You deserve it.
✮ Remember to connect
One of the simplest ways we can look after ourselves in times of need is by connecting with other like-minded humans. It is not simply not possible for you to type out too many updates here at Living Sober! Post as often as you like! Stay in touch with any friends or family who lift your spirits. Attend online meetings or schedule a session with a trained professional. Any and all positive contact with others is worth pursuing, so pursue it.
Mrs D xx