Lockdown perfect conditions for sobriety

cosy scene curtains down sunlight peeking

No-one would choose the conditions of a pandemic lockdown to help with getting sober, but in some ways the extraordinary position we find ourselves in might actually be helpful if you're trying to kick the drink.

Not the extreme emotion bit. That grief, fear, anxiety that we're all feeling.. it's full on and can be quite overwhelming at times. Understandably so, life as we know it has changed forever, and we have no way of knowing when it will start to return to a semblance of normal.

At least we can find some comfort in knowing that all humans on the planet are feeling a similar way. Covid-19 is a shared experience like no other, and it can be hugely helpful to realise we're not suffering alone with our feelings. Shared grief is better than solo grief.

No - it's the living conditions we find ourselves in that could actually be regarded as helpful for getting sober. Think about it. What do we need to do when we first quit drinking?

* Hunker down
* Limit social gatherings
* Soak up recovery related material
* Focus on physical health (diet, exercise, sleep)
* Reach out and connect with others who know what we're going through

And what is this lockdown giving us?

Well for starters, we're all hunkering down - on Government orders! "Stay home" our Prime Minister has repeated over and over and over in her lockdown press conferences, and we're listening (thank goodness, because this is what will save lives). We're all staying home, and days on end spent indoors pottering around the house and garden (with short local jaunts away from the property) are the ideal gentle conditions for someone needing to focus on themselves.

In-person social gatherings have been completely halted. Only being allowed to have social interactions with people within our 'bubbles' means we're largely shielded from any of the normal social drinking pressures we might get at parties and BBQs etc. ("Why aren't you drinking?" "Just have one!") Of course you might still want to attend virtual work drinks or group catch-ups online - a great way to feel connected to others - but the good news with that is it's impossible for others to tell what liquid is in your glass through a computer screen. So fill your tumbler with fizzy water, ice and lemon, or your wine glass with lime juice. No-one would have any idea that you're avoiding booze! And you still get to have lovely chats with friends and colleagues.

Time is no longer a precious commodity. We have oodles of it! So why not fill all those available hours by listening to recovery podcasts, reading e-book or listening to audio versions of sobriety memoirs or brain re-training manuals (e.g. Annie Grace, Allen Carr, Jason Vale). Watch YouTube videos , Ted talks, vlogs etc from sobriety and recovery people. There is SO MUCH free content available online which is inspiring and informative. Seek it out (many suggestions on our Reading Material Sober toolbox page here) and get absorbing!

Hours pottering around the home also means we've got space to focus on our physical health. We can take our time preparing healthy balanced meals, and enjoy them slowly at a nicely laid table (get the placemats and candles out!). We've got the time to do that yoga session online (some yoga videos made especially for Living Sober members here), televised gym class or YouTube workout. And now's the time you can finally slow your bedtime routine right down to try and get a good long sleep. Charge your phone in the kitchen! Have a lovely long hot bath before bed. All those things that sleep experts say leads to a lovely restful night.

And finally, take the time and make the effort to seek out connections with others who have a similar goal regarding alcohol. You can obviously do that through our site here at Living Sober (make sure you register to become a member - it's free and you can be anonymous! - and get inside our Members Feed where all the real-time, direct interactions go on), but also through Facebook groups, online meetings, one-on-one chats with a sober buddy or DMs with sobriety social media accounts. However you do it, connect, connect, connect with others who know what you are doing in trying to quit booze - either because they're also doing it right now, or have gone through the process before and know exactly the effort you are making.

We've always been stronger as sober individuals when we come together as a group and share our truths, and at no time is that more important than now when Covid-19 is impacting us all.

There are not many bright sides to look upon with this pandemic, but maybe we can relish the opportunity it offers us to focus on the things we need to if we're trying to reshape our relationship with alcohol. You never know, you might come out of this crisis stronger than you've ever been before. And wouldn't that be a fabulous thing.

Mrs D xxx

8 Comments
  1. gingermonkeymind 2 months ago

    Thanks for this and for all the wonderful links and resources! The focus on the common humanity is definitely helpful. We’re all in this together. Grateful for you and everyone here! May we be well, may we be happy, may we be free from suffering! xxoo-Ginger

  2. JR 2 months ago

    So spot on. Sadly I am hearing so many people drinking worse out of BOREDOM. That was always a trigger for me, or to escape anxious feelings and now thanks to you and this site, it has educated me on the true addicting side of it all and NO THANKS to it!

  3. Mari135 2 months ago

    oxox This is gold. As always! Thank you!!

  4. Danne 2 months ago

    Wonderful suggestions for during this time of isolation. I look at this time (as sad and scary as it may be) as a time of reflection and trying to make healthy new daily routines, I will have to look through your reaading material toolbox page for some more inspiration.
    Thank you Mrs D x

  5. Ladyhawke 2 months ago

    Thank you MrsD, this is an absolute treasure chest of information and advice during these trying times. I’m still working at home (Software Testing and Technical Writing) so am loving my walks in the morning before work where I can clear my head to the start the day. I’m still finding the situation a little overwhelming but know it would have been a whole lot worse if I’d been drinking through this. Thanks again, this is a brilliant post 🙂

  6. seanboy2 2 months ago

    I’m into year 3 sober. The big help for me getting this far has been the fitness aspect. Joining a gym and boxing classes have been my rock physically and mentally . I’m missing them but have a daily training regime in place . Other day I decided to try a boxing workout but I don’t have a punchbag, so a tree in the garden was my substitute . I was midway through my 7 / 3 minutes regime when I noticed a neighbour peering over the fence and probably thinking that’s it he has completely lost it, he’s a lockdown casualty. ?

    I’m a people person so struggling with good n bad days in these crazy times. Like others fighting to keep a job etc but determined to do it sober. Stay safe , stay sober and love all those close to you .

  7. p.tweedz 2 months ago

    Thanks Mrs D!..
    For your encouragement, wisdom and support at this trying time. I feel lucky coming into this pandemic sober, otherwise my life would be an absolute guaranteed out of control mess by now!
    Thank you also for your links to online material, particularly the AA meetings. I logged on a couple of times today to the one that has been running 24/7 since 19th March!! Its great and awesome to get that exact same connection with people anywhere in the world! It is so heartening that the message really is the same anywhere.
    Well, Im off for a night of even more netflix!
    Thank you again to you and all my wonderful whanau on this journey of sobriety!
    Stay safe everyone Xx

  8. Pollyonthewagon 2 months ago

    Wow Mrs D you describe my lock down experience perfectly.
    I have been really hesitant to post as I have tried so many times in the last 3 years trying to regain the sobriety I had for 3 years. Now at Day 18 and feeling wonderful sleeping 9 hours with very vivid dreams, doing on line yoga and daily walks, spending time in the garden, teaching online and daily meditation
    Really treasuring this opportunity for time to reflect and care for myself and restart my sobriety. Thank you so much for being there Mrs D
    Love Polly

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