We won’t pretend otherwise. This is a scary time. Already, Italy, Spain, and Ireland are enforcing mandatory shutdowns, with Australia surely not far behind. With social distancing encouraged, and the closure of gatherings likely to affect SMART Recovery meetings, we’ve compiled a list of handy ways to stay on track should you face quarantine, self-isolation, or meeting closure.
- Online meetings
The easiest way to keep on track and continue attending a SMART meeting is to try one of our online meetings. These run exactly like a regular face to face SMART Recovery meeting, abiding by the same structures and guidelines, and all you need to attend is an internet connection and a device capable of producing audio. This is a great way of maintaining stability if you’re confined to your home or hospital, and provides vital community support to anyone who might be facing social isolation.
- SMART Manuals
Many SMART participants already purchase the participant manual as a companion to their meetings. The 70-page self-help book provides support for all addictive behaviours including drugs, alcohol, gambling and anything else you can think of. Included in the manual are handy exercises and worksheets to keep you on track and on top of your recovery. While intended as a companion to regular attendance at SMART meetings, many people who find themselves unable to attend meetings find the manuals extremely helpful.
- Stay connected
It’s easy, in our hyper-connected modern world, to take for granted the people around us. While many will be working from home, and others are facing unemployment or having their work drastically reduced, it is vital that we remain connected to one another. A simple phone call can do wonders. Being proactive in calling your loved ones and check in on them, particularly those who live alone, makes a huge difference to feelings of isolation.
- Stay active
Gym closed? Cooped up in your house? Don’t forget to move your body. People stuck at home can easily become inactive or sedentary. It’s one thing to joke about a two-week Netflix binge, but if you aren’t confined to your home, try walking for at least half an hour every day.You don’t have to turn into Jean-Claude Van Damme, but a simple home workout is a sure-fire way to de-stress, reduce anxiety, and increase your overall health outcomes. This simple ten-minute workout is a great place to start.
- Stay focused
Easier said than done, we know. But with live updates coming from all corners of the globe, hysteria mounting, and grocery aisles emptying by the day, we all need to take a moment to ourselves to stay calm and on top of our mental state.Meditating for only five to ten minutes is one way to maintain your focus and wellbeing. Mindfulness exercises like this one are another way to collect your thoughts and feelings. You could also try downloading meditative music eg. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PIBMLvcAzc
Hopefully these tips come in useful over the coming weeks as we face this crisis together.
For anyone whose mental health issues will be affected, exacerbated, or worsened by this crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
For more tips on staying on top of things, see FACE COVID, a set of practical steps for responding effectively to the Corona crisis, using the principles of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT):