Recovery is hard, no one is going to deny that. Changing a lifestyle, whether or not it’s characterized by substance use, takes strong motivation, passionate dedication and peaceful flexibility, because encountering roadblocks is inevitable during recovery. Changing a lifestyle that was previously dictated by substance use requires all of this, in addition to accountability. Why? Because beating a substance use addiction requires more than just willpower.
Reaching a point in your journey where you desire recovery is a vital first step. Then comes the equally important steps of sticking to this resolution and making certain “rules for living” habits in your daily life.
Stick to a routine
One of the most important pieces of recovery is routine. It might sound strange, but creating and adhering to a schedule accounts for all the pieces of your day, keeps you accountable to working through your checklist of to-dos and doesn’t leave room for an overabundance of empty time. Empty time breeds boredom, a gateway for unproductive behavior and potential substance use. Filling your time with activities as simple as doing the laundry, cleaning the house, washing your car, shopping for groceries and working on a hobby or craft keeps you busy and focuses your mind on productive and healthy activities.
Healthy living is trending right now, but what does that even mean?
Healthy living is taking care of your body holistically – body, mind and spirit. Substance use negatively affects all of these areas, and so recovery needs to focus on healing all these areas. This is the springboard from which healthy living needs to bounce.
- Body – Obviously, a healthy body benefits from proper exercise. Exercise looks different for everyone, and you should choose the kind you prefer and see results from. If you really hate the treadmill, try finding a nearby hiking trail instead. Pilates and yoga work to strengthen, stretch and tone the body through gentle, yet effective movements. Perhaps you really need to burn through that energy, and so tossing around weights is more your style. Whatever you choose, commit to exercising every day, and budgeting time for an occasional rest day, to get your body strong and healthy once again.
- Mind – Recovering from substance use requires a total change of the way the brain functions, so being especially gentle on your mind during this time is important. Techniques like meditation and mindfulness help not only recenter the brain, but allow you to lessen potential withdrawal symptoms like depression and anxiety. By learning to focus on the breath, as well as becoming mindful of areas of tension and stress in the body and mind, you can slowly work at mastering the release of tension and strive towards a deeper sense of freedom and peace.
- Spirit – Believe it or not, many people recovering from substance use find a sense of comfort and self-confidence in spirituality. Prayer and meditation, belief in a higher power and participation in a religious community can give support and peace to one’s soul. Especially believing and living from the philosophy that all things work towards your good and learning that your worth is not defined by what you have done provides remarkable healing.
Engage in community
This might look different for different people based on your stage of recovery, but that’s to be expected. Perhaps you spent the initial stages of your recovery in a sober living home, such as those offered by Real Recovery. Undoubtedly you invested a good amount of time building relationships with the other residents. These friendships are important both during your time there and any time afterward, supporting one another through recovery and relating to each other’s stories and experiences to offer new perspectives and encouragement when needed.
Perhaps you’ve participated in group therapy and built friendships through that route. These people can be important assets to your growth and healing as well, as their own successes and stories can offer you inspiration and hope.
Lastly, while they might be difficult to rebuild initially, investing in friendships with family and old friends who have your best interests at heart is vital in your recovery journey. They can offer you strength and courage through trying times, especially when you work on removing toxic people from your close circle. Plus, friends are usually more than willing to do anything to help – on days when you just need a buddy to go to the park or the mall or wherever with you, reach out to those people.
Reach out for help
Recovering from substance use addiction offers many challenges, none of which need to be faced alone. In addition to the support of friends and family, regularly meeting with a counselor will provide mental support plus teach important ways to adjust and heal your perspective on life free of substances. Counselors especially trained with a focus on substance use counseling, such as those at Real Recovery, will walk with you through your journey, helping you towards a complete healing of your motivations, perspectives and goals. Call 1-855-363-7325 today, to begin taking steps toward life improvement through sover living.