Hanmer Clinic is physically closed during the Level 4 Response to Covid-19.

But our staff are still working (from home) and are available. We are contacting current clients, and can be contacted on the freephone number 0800 842 426.

So if you want help, want to talk to someone, just call and leave a message on the answer system, and we will get back to you.


Covid-19 is life happening.

One of the “life skills” we develop in recovery is growing our ability to live “life on life’s terms”. This current situation is certainly requiring that skill, and in fact, we can do this.

As always in early recovery (and that’s the first two or three years) we are operating with a compromised brain and some automatic reactions. Being aware of this and doing the basics will help us through.

Firstly, our brain over the years has come to rely on the external application of alcohol and other drugs to feel good, to feel better, to feel numb. When we stop, we have to help our brain regain strength. There are some healthy habits that will help us do this.

Social – this underlies the importance of groups, meetings, being around people who support recovery, and who helped me feel good about being in recovery. The social thing is harder at the moment, but this underlies the importance of using the phone to talk to like-minded people, video chats in meetings et cetera.


Diet – make sure we eating well so that we get the nutrients our brain needs to restore itself to good functioning.

Education – get to know your illness and get to know the recovery pathways. The resources page on this website opens up some good avenues.

Sleep – making sure we get adequate and have healthy sleep patterns. As we know these are not part of the using lifestyle – and changing these patterns is part of the recovery process.


Living in the now, the present moment.

Here are a couple of passages that may be helpful.  Also Google: ACT Dropping an anchor.

Expand awareness: acknowledge the presence of your difficult thoughts and feelings and at the same time notice what you see, hear, touch, taste, smell.(This is Not to distract from pain; but to notice that in addition to pain there is a lot happening here in the present moment; there is so much more present than these difficult thoughts and feelings that are currently dominating awareness).

Exert self-control over physical action: Move, stretch, change posture, sit upright, stand up, walk, sit down, breathe differently, push feet into the floor, push hands into the chair, push fingertips together, drink water, hug yourself, massage a tense spot, etc.

Dr. Russ Harris – The Single Most Powerful Technique for Extreme Fusion


This is a famous passage from Alcoholics Anonymous

When I stopped living in the problem and began living in the answer, the problem went away. From that moment on, I have not had a single compulsion to drink. And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me.

I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy.

I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes.

Alcoholics Anonymous (Big Book), 4th Edition, P. 417


Here are a couple of other good resources:

Looking after your mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19

Coronavirus self-isolation: Psychologist explains how to avoid cabin fever


Wishing you all the best for the next weeks. We can do this, and it does get better.

David Benton
Clinic Director