February 16th, 2021 | Updated on November 17th, 2021
The Covid-19 lockdown has been tough on us all with so many people unable to see loved ones, go to work, or live their normal lives.
Lockdown has also seen a significant increase in the amount of alcohol which is being drank at home. While for many of us this may be just a temporary chance to let our hair down, it can be a major problem for those who are recovering from alcohol dependency and or those just out of alcohol rehabilitation.
The pressures of lockdown can be very intense, so finding productive ways to stay busy and get these strange times is important.
With that in mind, here are the top 10 things to do in lockdown which don’t involve alcohol.
1. Get In Shape
It can be hard to motivate yourself to exercise when all the gyms are shut, but some really exciting fitness trends have emerged over the last year.
One program which has taken off is the “Couch to 5K”, during which participants work their way up to a 5km run. When you are feeling fit and healthy, you are less likely to return to an unhealthy lifestyle.
2. Learn Some New Recipes
Alongside your new exercise routine, you can start a brand new healthy eating plan so that you come out of lockdown looking and feeling great. So few of us have time to cook these days, but this is the perfect chance to learn some new recipes.
Some people associate drinking with eating so this is a good opportunity to form new habits where you don’t drink alcohol with your food.
3. Learn A New Language
The global travel restrictions have put a dampener on things with most of us seeing nothing but British clouds and drizzle for over a year.
Why not get yourself ready for when you can finally take a holiday by learning a new language during lockdown? Being able to speak to the locals when you are in another country opens up new travel possibilities rather than the normal British holiday spots where drinking is often at the centre of everything.
4. Complete A Book Challenge
Nobody knows how long lockdown will last, with the government changing its mind more than the rest of us are bothering to change our socks.
As frustrating as this can be, it’s the perfect opportunity to catch up with some reading. Challenge yourself to read one book a week, and try to start an online book club with your friends. This is the perfect way to stay connected and support each other on days when cravings are at their worst.
5. Catch Up On Your Favourite TV Shows
Sometimes there is nothing better than vegetating on the sofa and watching some TV, and it’s ok to give yourself a break if you ever feel overwhelmed.
A Netflix subscription has been worth its weight in gold during the lockdown with binge-watchable series like Tiger King and Money Heist helps to relieve the boredom. You can chip in with a friend for a subscription so that you can see what your friend has been watching and recommend shows to each other when you are having a bad day.
6. Learn An Instrument
Perhaps a more productive use of your time than watching Joe Exotic serenade his big cats is to learn a musical instrument.
This can be a completely new instrument or one you used to play but gave up when times became difficult. Playing an instrument is a great way to let out frustration and build the confidence which is often lost through addiction.
7. Start An Online Job
So many people have lost their jobs or been furloughed as a result of the pandemic, but there are some great opportunities to make money online.
Offering your writing skills as a freelance writer on Upwork or applying to teach English to foreign students are both ideal for earning a little extra cash. As you look to a future of long-term recovery, these online gigs could potentially be the start of a brand-new career.
8. Do A Zoom Quiz
It is really important to stay in touch with friends and family during the lockdown as everyone needs as much support as possible.
Zoom has been a lifesaver, and one really fun way to connect with your loved ones is to do a weekly quiz. Just like with your book club, this is a fun way to share much-needed support.
9. Take Up Knitting
Once the favourite hobby of nimble-fingered nans, knitting has had a big resurgence in recent years. With so many of us separated from our families, try knitting something special for a baby you haven’t been able to meet yet or someone you are missing. Knitting is a good way to practice mindfulness and stay present when cravings start to flare up.
10. Challenge Your Friends
Words With Friends is a great little app which allows you to challenge your loved ones to a Scrabble-esque game to see who is the most cunning linguist.
App-based games help you stay connected to your loved ones and support structures even when you are not having an actual conversation over Zoom.
The pressure of lockdown can be so tough for those of us recovering from addiction, Certified Psychotherapist Jason Shiers working for UK Addiction Treatment says” It is always good to have a distraction from your own mind during tough times” Staying connected to friends, family and support structures is so important. Try out these fun suggestions, and they will help you stay true on your road to recovery.