Rehab is a great starting point. But as you learned during therapy, addiction is a disease that intertwines both physical and mental discomfort. There is still a lot to be done to re-integrate into the real world. You used to build up your life around substance abuse. And now you need to start from a clean slate.
This transition process can be challenging. Be ready to demonstrate perseverance and determination. If you don’t know where to start, here are 10 meaningful steps to leading sober and happier life.
- Take one day at a time.
When people return from inpatient treatment facilities, they understand that from now on they will have to motivate themselves to keep sobriety forever. And it seems an overwhelming burden.
At first, prize yourself for everything you’ve already done – “I’ve completed a program at AddictionResource drug rehab near me and I am proud of myself”. It’s time for the next small victories. Focus on your goal to stay sober and healthy today. It’s more manageable.
- Mend broken relationships.
During a substance abuse period, a person can do or say hurtful things. Maybe some of your friends, family members, or significant other don’t communicate with you.
Communication is a two-way street. It includes both talking and listening. Apologize for your words or actions. Tell a person about your recovery. Say that you want to restore their friendship/relations. Then truly listen to what he or she is saying. People feel more comfortable about expressing themselves directly if they feel they are actually heard.
- Meet the expectations.
When addicts spend years under the influence of either alcohol or drugs (or both), they may forget how to be a functioning family member or friend. Besides, time has passed and current expectations are different.
Find out what your family and friends expect from you. You may need to improve the way you treat others, start handling obligations, and more.
- Keep it up.
Assuming a 30- or 60-day inpatient treatment program can solve the problem completely is underestimating its severity. There are many resources that want to help you maintain your sobriety. Just stick to your in-house therapy schedule, whether it is having regular check-ups, working with a family therapist, or attending AA or NA meetings.
Post-treatment support services can teach you new ways to discourage relapse and cope with daily stressors effectively. Make a quick research on “drug counseling near me” so that you know all the best options available in your area.
- Leave old friends that are pulling you down.
You may encounter someone you drank or took drugs with. Tell them that you quit and try to persuade them to get treatment. Say something like “There’s an awesome inpatient drug rehab near me, it helped me a lot. I can give you the contacts”.
If your friends don’t want to struggle with their addiction, disengage from these unhealthy relationships. Instead, create a supportive sober network. This includes family members, friends, fellow 12-Step members, as well as your therapist or doctor.
- Find a hobby.
During the substance-abusing period, your everyday life was probably all about seeking and consuming the drug of choice. Now when the cycle of addiction is broken, you have to fill your free time with something. Staying busy with productive activities provides protection from relapse and gives you a sense of purpose in life.
Maybe, you used to have some hobby before your addiction got severe. Or maybe you have a long-held wish of trying an activity you’ve been curious about but didn’t have the chance to do it. Now it’s a good time to revive an old hobby or develop a new one.
- Start exercising.
Toxins contained in alcohol and drugs negatively affect nearly every part of the body, eroding the user’s physical condition. Regular exercising can contribute to the body’s healing. Moreover, physical activity boosts the production of the “feel good” hormones called endorphins. It helps to reduce stress and improve mood. All of these benefits can aid in recovery.
You don’t have to work out for hours in a gym. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.
- Get enough rest.
Sleep repairs the body’s cells. It also boosts your overall well-being and even strengthens the immune system.
Sleep difficulties are not uncommon among addicts. Often, they don’t disappear even after the completion of a treatment program at rehab near me.
Develop a routine that helps you to relax and drift off to sleep. It can be a soothing warm bath or a calming tea like chamomile or lavender. Try different pre-sleep routines to find out what works for you.
- Follow a balanced diet.
Eating properly is an important part of self-care. Poor nutrition can contribute to stress, tiredness, and capacity to work. In the long term, it can increase the risk of developing health problems and illnesses.
Since you need to improve your physical condition damaged by substance abuse, a good diet is one of the best ways to do that. So, eat more fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish, nuts, and lean proteins. Give up junk food and minimize sugar and unhealthy fats. Also, drink plenty of water and avoid too much coffee.
- Set and accomplish goals.
Now when the substance of abuse doesn’t restrict your opportunities to live a full life, decide on what you really want. After rehab, people pursue different goals, like joining some courses, starting a new career, dedicating themselves to family.
Some ex-addicts volunteer to the community by supporting those who have just started the recovery process. If you are willing to help other, check whether there are any “volunteer vacancies at drug rehab centers near me”.
Life after rehab is a time of continued progress toward long-lasting sobriety. The first few weeks or months may be challenging, humbling, and confusing. Whatever comes your way, embrace it and learn from it. It is the time of personal growth and development that gives you a fresh start in life.