Anyone who’s suffered from addiction has participated in some activity or substance at a harmful level. This could be anything from alcohol or drugs to food or sex.
Regardless of the reason, people turn to a specific vice; they use it to cover up their negative feelings toward something or avoid dealing with a problem. It typically doesn’t take much in life to trigger what the addiction is trying to hide for people battling an addiction(1).
Unfortunately, the Coronavirus pandemic has thrown most people off from their normal routine and created a potentially harmful environment for recovering addicts.
How to Overcome an Addiction
1. Making the Decision to Change
Whether it’s the impact of a pandemic or some other life trigger, it’s critical to have a fool-proof plan you can implement to ensure you don’t use your addiction as a coping method. Following this plan will require adaptability and resiliency – two life skills that help our overall survival.
People that can pivot in life will be able to grow and thrive, whereas people with addiction usually struggle to embrace change. Having a routine like a daily workout is beneficial, but if life changes (which it will!), you won’t be as anxious if you have a plan.
This will be your compass to guide you through the turmoil, and you won’t be a slave to your routine.
2. Preparing to Change
Recognize what tools you originally used to manage your addiction and stick to those, even if they don’t look exactly like they would in non-pandemic times.
For example, if going to the gym is essential to you, commit to working out in a new setting during the pandemic – sign up for outdoor classes, head to your local park, or create a space at home and do online workouts. Don’t let gym closures set you back.
[Also Read: Guide to COVID-Proof Gym Workouts]
3. Get counseling
It’s also essential to have someone you’re accountable to and lean on for support, such as a counselor or friend.
Don’t wait until you can’t function or get too far down the wrong path. If feelings of isolation, loneliness, or depression make you act on your vice, talk to counselor or friend immediately.
They are also experiencing these feelings at some level during the pandemic and can reassure you that it’s okay, you’ll get through this. They can help you reset and focus on your plan.
At its core, addiction stems from the same problems most people have – they don’t feel understood or valued, they lack self-worth, etc.
When the feelings or issues aren’t dealt with in a healthy way, we begin to self-sabotage, and for addicts, their vice is built out of this space. You can’t heal an addiction overnight, but if you go back to your basics, you can successfully recover what helps you overcome those feelings.
[Also Read: Self Care During COVID-19]
Understand that the right path to healing isn’t trading one addiction for another. It requires identifying where your triggers come from and doing deep self-healing work. You’ve overcome your addiction before, so you know you have the foundation for doing it again.
And don’t discount that what you’re going through is hard – it is hard. Life isn’t always easy, and the pandemic is only adding another layer of stress and anxiety.
But things can be difficult, and you can still find joy, comfort, and resiliency in the hard moments. Look at this time as an opportunity for growth.
[Also Read: Remaining Resilience & Grateful During COVID-19]
About The Author:
Kimberly Lackey is the founder of EMPATH Coaching. EMPATH is an approach to guiding others to stay on or get back to their right path, while building a life they love mentally, physically and spiritually.