Addiction affects every aspect of your life, from physical wellbeing to mental health and relationships. When you’re in the grip of drugs and alcohol, your priorities turn upside-down. It becomes challenging to function day to day, and self care habits often fall by the wayside. Once you’ve done the hard work in treatment, it’s important to keep up the momentum back home by taking care of your mind and body.
Building these healthy habits can be a challenging task, but it can truly transform your quality of life. Taking control of your days by creating new goals ensures you’re focused on the future; this is also helpful in keeping you fortified against possible triggers.
You’ve probably already thought of many beneficial choices that could improve your life. We’ve listed out a few of our favorites below for inspiration. You could start –
- Cleaning and doing household chores
- Calling friends and family more often
- Practicing mindfulness and meditation
- Exercising, whether it’s by jogging, taking up Crossfit, or doing yoga
- Attending to bills, home maintenance, and other concerns on a scheduled basis
- Learning a new skill
- Reading books or listening to podcasts
- Trying recipes, foods, and a healthy diet
One helpful tip to make habits stick is to start small: add one change at a time. To understand this, you don’t need to look any further than failed new year’s resolutions. As with January 1st gym promises, many people get excited about their newfound sobriety and immediately start to pile on exercise routines, cleaning schedules, and new languages. This is an admirable impulse, but it can fatigue you and make you more likely to give up. Instead, consider choosing one or two high-priority habits to focus on for the first two weeks. Once you’ve established a routine you’re comfortable with, add the next item to your agenda.
It can be easy to downplay your successes if you don’t pay attention to them. In the same way that it’s helpful to keep track of how many days you’ve remained sober, it’s important to celebrate yourself for sticking to your new lifestyle changes. For every day you exercise, work on a new skill, or read some of your book, jot it down. Make a note in your phone, draw an X on your calendar, or check off a to-do list in your journal – whatever works for you. Seeing the number of days that you’ve stuck with your goal can inspire you to continue when things become more challenging.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
When you’ve done the hard work of recovery, it can be tempting to assume that everything about sober life will be difficult moving forward. This can result in unintentional self-sabotage – making tasks so overwhelming and stressful that you don’t want to complete them. If you let yourself make excuses or overcomplicate things, you’ll stop yourself before you even get started.
This is easily combated by confronting those feelings head-on – stop, take a deep breath, and ask yourself what’s stopping you. Acknowledge that you don’t need to be a perfectionist when it comes to learning new things. Write down each of the steps required to accomplish your goal. If that’s still too daunting, see if there’s any room to start smaller. In some cases, you may need to create a bite-sized version of your objective. For example, instead of aiming to learn Spanish, you can plan to enroll in a class or study simple phrases. Be patient and don’t talk yourself out of succeeding.
Don’t Go It Alone
Creating new habits that put your wellbeing first is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. If you find yourself struggling in recovery, you should feel empowered to ask for help. Reach out to a friend, family member, or sponsor and tell them how you’re feeling. Attend a meeting or sober event, and make sure you’re surrounded by a support system. If possible, include others in your new activities – run with company, join a book club, or seek out sober activities in your area.
Lakeside-Milam Wants to See You Win
If you’re still in the beginnings of your sobriety or would like advice about resources and structure in recovery, feel free to reach out to our team. Call 800.231.4303 (toll-free) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.