Getting sober is one thing, but staying sober is a whole other ball game that requires patience, determination, and commitment.
Leaving a rehab facility is only the start of an incredible journey, but it’s important to understand how to navigate the challenging road ahead.
Continue reading for a short guide on how to stay sober after rehab.
Your Support Network is Key
Building a strong support network in recovery is essential to maintaining your sobriety. An ideal support network would likely include a combination of friends, family, professionals, and other people recovering from alcohol or drug addiction.
Surround yourself with people who are reliable, loyal, and caring. They can help steer you in the right direction, offering you the necessary tools and encouragement to stay clean.
It’s important to talk through the challenges and feelings that arise. You’re not alone on this journey, and it’s uplifting to know that people are rooting for you to be happy and healthy.
Regular exercise is a simple yet powerful tool for staying sober. It’s a healthy way to fill time, and it provides a naturally good feeling instead of the synthetic high of using drugs or alcohol.
Getting active triggers the release of “happy brain chemicals,” or endorphins, that boost our mood and reduce stress. You may want to sign up at your local gym, or perhaps you prefer to walk or run in nature. Getting into nature is an excellent way to connect to ourselves and the world around us.
Identify Your Relapse Triggers
Knowing is half the battle. And recognizing what your triggers are can help prepare you to manage and avoid them when they appear.
Triggers can come in any shape or form, both internally and externally, and hold the power to cause you to relapse. Therefore, it’s essential to develop a response plan. This may involve taking steps to avoid certain situations, or coping with the trigger by calling a loved one for support and encouragement.
You will face triggers as a test of your willpower and ability to make healthy choices instead.
Create a New Routine
It’s a terrible idea to revert to your old routine, which is likely full of personal triggers. Instead, work on creating a new and improved routine that fosters a joyful and fulfilling life.
Make exercising, healthy eating, a regular sleep schedule, and support groups focal to your new daily schedule. Introduce nourishing hobbies to replace old habits which don’t serve you on the path to recovery. And invest in friends who want to see you happy and healthy.
Your whole life will be completely different from how it used to be. And you’ll be happier for it.
Work Through Negative Emotions
Many people in recovery have dealt with feelings of guilt and shame, but it’s important to find a way to work through any negative emotions and release them.
While it may seem difficult to shake them off, shame and guilt are unhelpful for those working towards sobriety, treatment, and growth. It’s understood that guilt is a common relapse trigger for people in recovery. You don’t need to deny your past, but excessive guilt or overthinking serves no useful purpose.
Only through acceptance and forgiveness can a lasting recovery take place.
Learn How to Say No
Setting boundaries and learning to say no are vital skills for anyone in addiction recovery. It can be simply saying no to a drink, or even turning down invitations to events or places where temptations may arise. You may want to prepare a response in advance for when someone offers you alcohol or drugs.
Don’t be afraid to put your health and well-being first. Staying sober is a major challenge, and it’s important to say no to old patterns, habits, or behaviors that led you down the dark road.
Create some personal and realistic goals. Working towards them will guide you to your lifelong goal of sobriety and fulfillment. Setting goals also helps individuals track their progress and assess what area of their life needs more attention.
It establishes a sense of purpose, which is a crucial ingredient for staying sober. Goals should be personal but could include finances, relationships, mental health, and sobriety milestones.
Mindfulness is becoming increasingly popular in addiction recovery treatments. To practice mindfulness is to become aware of what you are feeling in the present moment. Observing from a state of calm, it’s possible to react to situations with greater clarity and balance.
Eastern practices such as yoga and meditation are especially helpful, while mindful breathing can be done at any moment in the day. Mindfulness can reduce stress and overthinking, while improving focus and control of emotions. And, in terms of addiction recovery, you’re far less likely to make unwise and impulsive decisions.
Invest in Yourself
If you intend to stay sober, it’s vital to take care of your physical and mental well-being. There are many ways you may choose to do this. Journalling is a great way to unpack complicated feelings or emotions, and it’s also a fantastic opportunity to note down things you are grateful for.
In sobriety, you’ll likely have more time on your hands. Use this time to invest in yourself, regularly taking refuge in self-love and patience along the way.
There’s no shame in getting help on this journey. Intervention specialist services provide sober companions that help clients establish a daily living plan and a strong foundation for lasting recovery.
To Stay Sober Is To Truly Live
These practical tips will make it easier to stay sober. Keep on making conscious decisions that will support you to enjoy a happy and fulfilling life.
Sobriety is a lifelong process, and it’s recommended to incorporate various strategies to create a new life that is truly worth living.
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