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Coping with Isolation: Strategies & Tips

Those moving through the recovery process often experience feelings of loneliness. These feelings may eventually manifest into increased occurrences of isolation or even present as physical ailments such as depression and anxiety. Experts suggest that ongoing loneliness may even lead to health problems, such as an increased chance for heart attacks and a weakened immune system.

Hearing from supportive friends can prevent loneliness in addiction recovery. There is a big difference between feeling lonely and being alone. For those in recovery, it’s important to learn how to be comfortable with yourself without escaping to drugs or alcohol. These moments of solitude are opportunities to reflect and discover the creative, emotional and profound human you’ve always been.

Reframe Loneliness

Casting a different light on what it means to be alone may make it easier to navigate feelings of loneliness. Loneliness is a common feeling, but there are steps you can take to help feel more connected. Listening to music, calling a friend, taking a walk outside, and other activities may reduce your sense of isolation. It can connect you with other people—walking a dog opens you up to a community of other dog-walkers, and a cute dog on a leash tends to be a people magnet.

How to Avoid Loneliness During Recovery

Depression can cause loneliness and that loneliness can result in people self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. An easy way to find connections in everyday life is by loneliness in sobriety interacting in small ways with acquaintances or strangers you encounter. In fact, research shows that doing so contributes to our social and emotional well-being.

What Are the Most Common Challenges People Face Early in Addiction Recovery?

Others are struggling with loneliness during the pandemic, too. Reaching out to a friend, neighbor or elderly family member who may also be alone is a great way to quell loneliness. Whether you make small talk or swap stories, these vital connections will help you and someone else struggling with similar emotions. Building a solid support system is an essential part of the recovery process.

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