Connecting with others from support groups as well as outside trusted friends and family is essential to recovery. Though, at different times throughout life, various challenges and responsibilities could distract you and take you out of touch with the people in your life that care about you. Alternatively, sometimes, other friends and family go through periods where they are not as available. Losing touch with those that support you can become incredibly challenging during the holiday season. Understand, you can use this holiday season to get back in touch with the people in your life that matter most and benefit your recovery – there are five ways to develop the habits and practices of doing so.
Get Creative With Video Chat
Sometimes video chats with friends and family lack a specific element of engagement. However, there are ways to share experiences as you would in person through online interactions. Video chats are more versatile than ever before; they offer you the capabilities to watch movies, play video games, and even make short movies together. Many who have become comfortable using video chat have discovered ways to think outside of their conventional use. For example, you can arrange your camera so you can bake together, play music together, and even decorate together. There are plenty of ways to make things fun and engaging. When you find an activity you like, you can further arrange it to continue to meet weekly or monthly to uphold the practice.
Write to Friends and Family
Instead of sending the traditional holiday card, make it more personal by writing letters to friends and family. Taking the time to reflect and think about why this person means so much to you not only helps remind you why you enjoy having them in your life, but it will make both of you feel good. Don’t overwhelm yourself; you might only pick a select few that you write to, but the idea is to allow yourself the opportunity to lend something more personal and meaningful to both you, your friends, and your family.
Taking time to write out your thoughts brings you closer to your feelings, thus strengthening your appreciation of this person. In recovery, it is encouraged to share and get in touch with your emotions. The friends and family you write to might even feel compelled to write back – but do not feel bad if they don’t, they will value and appreciate the time you took to let them know how you feel.
Never underestimate the power of giving back. Giving back not only helps you feel better about yourself, but somebody will benefit from your efforts. Volunteering with a friend or family member could add to the experience and provide an excellent opportunity to connect with a friend or family member.
Despite living under unique circumstances caused by the pandemic, it does not mean that volunteering options no longer exist. You can get involved by looking for local opportunities in your community or even asking other friends and family about volunteer opportunities. If you are worried about attending in-person volunteering, there are alternatives. Giving back could be something as simple as visiting the elderly via Skype and other video chat models – you can also volunteer to walk sheltered dogs. Whatever you decide, try to include other friends and family.
Send Foods To Friends and Family
You might not be able to gather around the dinner table with family and friends this year, but it does not mean you cannot enjoy traditional holiday dishes. It might not seem conventional, but you can send food to one another in properly packaged boxes – especially cookies and other baked desserts. Alternatively, you might trade recipes or use the time with friends and family via chat to cook and walk each other through their process of preparing your favorite dishes. This way, you can share a new experience and enjoy your favorite dishes.
The holiday season is all about tradition. While it is sometimes hard to accept anything other than expected, you should always look for ways to evolve or reinvent tradition. New traditions help create new shared experiences and bonds, and because this year has altered the way many will spend their holiday, it is an excellent opportunity to consider a change.
Understand that interacting amid these unique circumstances should not be seen as temporary – many positive takeaways might promote lasting change in a post-pandemic world. You might continue to help your friends and family cook and prepare food. You also might continue to make it a seasonal effort to volunteer with friends and family. Perhaps the most significant change should result in you making yourself more present for friends and family year-round so that you never feel like you are always catching up around the holiday.
The holiday season is difficult for many. The holidays may stir up feelings of anxiety, stress, isolation, and depression. Understand that you are not alone in experiencing these emotions. However, you might have additional stress worrying about your recovery. Know that just because this year is unique, the people that care and support you are still here for you. To reconnect with friends and family during the pandemic, you can try getting creative with video chat, writing letters, volunteering with your loved ones, sending food, and creating new traditions. If you need additional help in reconnecting, reach out, and seek professional care. At True Recovery, we work with individuals and their families to help instill a lasting and meaningful recovery built on practices you can apply to help navigate the challenges of the real world – one of these critical elements in maintaining strong connections with others. To learn more, call us today at (866) 399-6528.