Creating a Sober Plan of Action for Social Distancing
When your routine and normal flow are disrupted what are you supposed to do to maintain your sobriety and keep working your program of recovery? There's fear and worry being felt in the AA community as our sobriety is intrinsically connected to our ability & willingness to go to meetings regularly. We have the willingness piece down, but what if our ability to go is crippled. Let's run down some easy and effective things you can do right now to make sure your recovery is in check so your disease doesn't claim a "check-mate" on your sobriety.
First things first, let's get a list of sober souls we can call put together. This is by far the most important piece of our plan. Having people we can talk to will connect us in spirit and mind, even though we might not be able to share face time with them. To this, you might even get a 3 way call set daily with some friends in the fellowship so you can have your own meeting of sorts. Pick out a topic in the morning; perhaps it's a rotation of someone picking the topic one day, and then the next person the following, etc... Next, set a time each day that the 3 of you will connect to discuss the topic. Run the call like a meeting, minus all the formalities of opening the meeting. You could start this telephonic gathering by saying the Serenity Prayer together, and then each saying who you are, followed by the designated person who chose the topic sharing the topic for the discussion and reading from the Big Book. Then open up the call, share, & unpack. I would go so far as to say that in this format you can engage in cross-talk!
Ok, ok... so you had your daily call, but what to do with the other 23 hours? This is where you can set a side time in the day to enjoy a new hobby you've found. For me, painting is a great way to creatively pass some down time. Make it special. Turn on some music, enjoy your favorite snack, put on some yummy essential oils, and melt into the activity. I think finding a balance of creative entertainment and mindless entertainment is key. Excessive downtime is also a great opportunity to engage in some DIY self-care.
Let's unpack some fun ways to engage in some much needed at home self-care. My ultimate favorite thing to do is to draw myself a hot bath, use luscious bath-time products like bath bombs, candles, essential oil infused bath salts, and then pour myself my favorite mocktail or cool Le Croix, and then be taken away by the calming smells, sounds of soft music, and twinkling candle light. I also really enjoy creating at home face masks (link to my favorite book below) and then giving myself a little facial.
Next, I am big advocate of having a date with yourself. I like to do this when my kids are at their dad's (benefit of being divorced), and really make it something special. I get a thick-cut ribeye, make a home-made dessert like cookies or brownies, and then put on a good rom-com or romantic film that my boyfriend would never want to watch with me. I also think binge watching a great series on Netflix or Prime is fantastic! Sink into your bed and get lost in a story! I think when we're stuck at home for long periods of time we need to make sure we do things like make our beds everyday, keep the laundry tended to, shower and get dressed, and stay out of bed during the middle of the day. Do not sink into a state of low energy laziness. When I stay on top of my good habits and routines I stay out of old ways of thinking and behaving.
I ultimately think downtime is God's way of saying I need you to be still with me... I miss you. If you're not at a point where you're comfortable with alone time, try and view it as an exercise that is helping you with this most important skill. Let me know what fun habits and routines you've found. Can't wait to hear from you!