Being home sick from work or school disrupts our regular daily routine – something that people in recovery use as a tool for supporting their sobriety – which could leave us a little more vulnerable. On top of that, being sick also means not feeling good and, as addicts and alcoholics, we are used to finding ways of making ourselves better, such as with substances.
So, being prepared for those inevitable sick days is key when you are a person in recovery from alcohol and other drugs.
#1. Prepare for the onslaught
When you start feeling sick – the first sign is often a scratchy throat or something like that, prepare yourself mentally and physically for the oncoming illness. Stock up on OTCs, Gatorade, cans of chicken soup, and so on.
#2. Use your sober supports
Maybe it’s having people drop in on you to check on how you’re doing and bringing you chicken soup and hot tea with honey. It might be texting or talking on the phone throughout the day. Be sure to be honest about how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking; especially if it has to do with thoughts of using.
#3. Don’t neglect your spiritual program
Depending on how sick you are, you may not be getting to a meeting for a little while. That said, there are still things you can do in the meantime. Make sure you continue daily prayer and meditation. Focus on healing yourself and ask for a speedy recovery.
#4. Take daily hot showers
As terrible as you might be feeling, make the effort to take a hot shower each day of your illness. The steam will really help you to feel at least a little better. The act of taking care of yourself helps on a deeper level, too. You are showing yourself love and care and this can really aid in your recuperation.
#5. Set up shop and hunker down
Get as comfortable as possible while you pass the time being sick. My favorite place is the couch. I have my phone and TV and Roku remotes within reach. I bring a pillow and favorite soft blanket from my room. I also use a heating pad to help keep me warm and ease the body aches.
#6. Sleep, sleep, sleep
Although when we’re not sick, oversleeping can be too much of a good thing, when we’re sick, it’s important to sleep for as much and as long as you can. This will give your body a chance to start healing.
#7. Do something creative
If you’re feeling up to it, draw, write, read, or whatever it is you like to do.
#8. Make a Netflix list
Add shows and movies to your list and then have a marathon while you’re holed up in your comfy corner – whether it’s your bed or the couch.
#9. Get some fresh air
If the weather’s nice and you feel up to it, go outside and take in some fresh air. Or else, open up your windows to get the air circulating in your place.
Whether you’re under the weather or feeling fine, it’s important to take care of yourself and your program. For those of you who are still struggling, help is available by calling toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to speak directly with a live person. We are available day or night to take your call.