Finishing addiction treatment is an incredible accomplishment. However, it doesn’t mark the end of your recovery journey. In the years ahead, you must take some important steps to build and maintain a healthy, sober life. Here are ten.
1. Repair Damaged Relationships
When you lived with addiction, you probably behaved in ways you regret. Some of your actions may have harmed your friends and family members and now is the time to apologize.
Acknowledge the specific mistakes you made, and ask for forgiveness. Promise to change your behavior, and follow through on that promise as you move forward in the relationship.
If one of your loved ones won’t accept your apology or doesn’t want to see you, respect their decision. You can try to apologize again once they’ve had more time to process the situation.
2. Leave Behind Bad Influences
As you reconnect with loved ones you lost to your addiction, take a good look at your current social circle. When you abuse drugs, it’s normal to surround yourself with people who do the same.
Now that you’re in recovery, such people don’t belong in your life. Leave these relationships in the past, and focus on friends and family who fully support your recovery.
While recovering from addiction or any other disease, it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular exercise.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that each week, adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity (such as walking) or 75 minutes of intense activity (such as running).
Whether moderate or intense, exercise boosts your physical health and promotes a better mood. These effects can significantly reduce your risk of relapse.
4. Eat Right
In the midst of addiction, it’s difficult to maintain a healthy diet. In fact, many people with the disease become malnourished.
As you rebuild your life, make sure you eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, limit processed foods, and drink about four to six cups of water each day. Like exercise, healthy eating decreases your risk of relapse by supporting your physical and mental health.
5. Get Hobbies
In the past, you may have spent most or all of your time using drugs. Now that you’re sober, you might feel bored more often than usual.
Boredom is one of the most common causes of relapse. That’s why you need to fill your time with hobbies. Revisit old activities you neglected due to your substance abuse, and try out some new activities too.
Popular hobbies for people in addiction recovery include:
- playing an instrument
- cooking or baking
6. Sleep Well
The CDC recommends that adults get at least seven hours of sleep per night. Most people with addiction struggle to meet this requirement. When you’re in recovery, a lack of sleep makes it difficult to build a productive life.
To adopt a healthier sleep schedule, try to wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day. Also, limit sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and electronics before bed. Finally, keep your bedroom as dark, quiet, and peaceful as possible.
7. Attend Therapy
After addiction treatment ends, many people benefit from ongoing therapy. Your therapist can help you navigate recovery-related challenges, such as drug cravings, poor self-esteem, and financial difficulties.
In addition, therapy can help you manage any co-occurring mental health issues you experience. The stronger your mental health, the lower your risk of relapse.
8. Attend Support Groups
When you feel lost or alone, it helps to have sober friends who understand the challenges of recovery. One of the best places to develop these friendships is a support group.
During recovery, many people attend at least one support group meeting per week.
9. Forgive Yourself
Many people who’ve struggled with addiction feel significant shame. Although it’s normal, shame can make it difficult to move forward and make positive changes in your life.
Remind yourself that addiction is a serious disease and not a personal failure. Also, let yourself feel proud of the amazing accomplishments you’ve made in your recovery.
10. Set Goals
When you live with addiction, it’s easy to lose sight of your goals. Now that you’ve removed drugs from your life, you can figure out exactly what you want to accomplish in your personal and professional life.
Write down clear, specific goals, and put them somewhere you’ll see them every day. This strategy will help you stay on track toward a fulfilling, drug-free life.
If you or someone you love struggles with drug abuse, please contact a Recovering Champions specialist. Our addiction treatment center offers personalized, evidence-based care to help you stay sober and healthy.