How to Strengthen Social Connections While Maintaining Physical Distance

The coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed how people interact.  Social isolation is known to make addiction recovery even more challenging so it’s important to know how to stay connected. Strengthening social connections has become more important than ever, especially for those struggling to overcome drug or alcohol addiction.  Fortunately, there are ways we can safely stay connected to our recovery community during these unprecedented times. 

Twelve-step meetings are still being held so that those in addiction recovery can continue to access the support they need to sustain their sobriety. Twelve-step and other support group meetings help to provide a strong social network which can prevent relapse and keep people feeling connected and supported while still maintaining the physical distance the coronavirus pandemic requires. 

How to Safely Attend 12-Step Meetings 

When taking the proper precautions, it’s still possible to come together and enjoy some of the same activities as before the coronavirus struck. Some of the ways to safely attend 12-step meetings during the coronavirus outbreak include: 

  • Practicing social distancing (maintaining at least six-feet or two meters between each individual) 
  • Attending small social gatherings (maximum of six people) 
  • Do not shake hands or hug 
  • Do not attend a meeting if you are feeling unwell, coughing, or have a fever 
  • Wear a mask or face shield  
  • Wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizer  

Attending support groups in person can be safe if participants are mindful and adhere to social distancing and COVID-19 guidelines. To sustain your addiction recovery, it’s important to keep your support network strong.  For many, this means attending 12-step meetings if it’s safe to do so. If you don’t feel comfortable attending in-person meetings, you can attend virtual 12-step meetings in the comfort of your home. 

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, call WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today at 877.969.1993 to learn how we can help.

For someone in addiction recovery, maintaining a routine that’s conducive to sobriety can be the difference between abstinence and relapse. Without the proper support system in place, even if for a brief period, the individual can be at risk for relapse. This danger is why recovering addicts need to stay focused on their recovery journey by attending virtual 12-step meetings or going to an in-person meeting if safety precautions are taken.  

Virtual Meetings and Online Social Events 

The pandemic has changed the way we enjoy social outings and interactions, and many individuals are finding it difficult to cope with quarantine and isolation. If you are more comfortable only taking part in virtual gatherings, it is still possible to strengthen social connections through various remote methods such as: 

  • Attending virtual meetings  
  • Partaking in online social events and meet-ups
  • Talking with friends through popular chat platforms 
  • Scheduling a virtual family get together 
  • Playing online games with friends and family 
  • Taking part in interactive cooking and education classes 

It is natural to crave human interaction, so it’s important to connect in as many ways as you safely can. Doing so will go a long way towards keeping your mind busy and occupied while also helping you stay in touch with people who provide strength in your recovery.  When individuals are busy and occupied, they are not thinking about resorting to drugs or alcohol. An essential component of long-lasting sobriety is avoiding certain ‘feelings’ and ‘triggers’ such as being hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.

Recovering addicts truly rely on a strong social support network to aid in their recovery, making meetings an essential service. Without the option to attend meetings, those who are most vulnerable run the risk of relapse. Having a community and network of individuals available keeps people in recovery on the path of long-term sobriety

If you are a recovering addict and your meetings have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, don’t give up. Have a look online to see what alternatives, including virtual 12-step meetings, are available for you. WhiteSands Treatment can help direct you to the proper support group for your unique situation. You don’t have to struggle alone. Even amidst a global pandemic, help is always just a phone call away.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.