Addiction Is An Everyday Battle That You Can Overcome
One of the greatest fears of those in recovery is a relapse. After all the hard work and time it takes to go through rehab, no one wants to relapse go through everything again. Thankfully, there are many practices you can put in place to maintain sobriety, and by implementing the following tips for staying sober, you will lessen your risk of relapse.
Staying sober is a lifelong process, and we understand that cravings can be an obstacle for patients during the recovery process. When you learn how to break addiction habits and identify cravings, you can manage and avoid the urge to relapse. It’s important to note that experiencing cravings is not a sign of weakness – it’s a natural part of recovery, and is deeply rooted in your psychological association with drugs and alcohol.
The following is a set of strategies to help you take control and win the power to resist cravings.
If You Went to Rehab, Work Your Program
If your journey into recovery began with a stay at an inpatient rehab center be sure to continue your treatment plan after you go home. You should have aftercare or an ongoing treatment plan to follow which may include any or all of the below tips. Follow the advice of your counselors, sponsors, mentors or whoever you lean on during recovery. Seek out those who have been successful in staying sober and use their experience to help you through the early phases.
Eat Healthy & Balanced
Healthy eating improves overall mood, health, and can help prevent ups and downs that can affect your cravings. Not only should you be eating lots of healthy food, veggies, fruits and lean proteins you should also be aware of how much and how often you eat. Be careful not to overeat or skip meals.
Serve Others Include Those Suffering From Addiction
Now that you are enjoying a happy and sober life it is time to spread that achievement to others. Seek out others in recovery and do what you can to help them. Bring someone to a support group, have a cup of coffee and share your story, offer to mentor or sponsor a person who is hours or days into recovery. This practice helps keep you out of your head and also creates accountability for your actions. Many people in recovery report that service to others is the most important and transformational part of their journey.
Service to others can also include several other actions that allow you to get out of your self and give your time and energy to good causes. You can volunteer at a shelter, serve meals at a soup kitchen, or do service work for your church.
Many of your past habits led you on the road to using drugs or alcohol to excess. It is time to make a positive change! This is one reason why having a mentor/counselor/sponsor is so important. Each person has a different set of habits and by sharing your day to day activities with someone else they can help you break the bad habits of your past and replace them with new healthy choices.
Start a New Hobby
Occupy your mind and set goals by trying something new. Try learning an instrument, study a strategy game, or join a local softball or other sports league. Not only is this a great way to occupy your time, but you also will meet new people and develop new healthy habits.
Find Inner Balance
Active addiction takes up a ton of time and energy. When you stop using substances you will find yourself with a lot of time to fill. This is a great time to throw yourself into a myriad of positive activities. However – be sure you don’t replace one obsessive behavior for another. Any activity can overtake your life in an unhealthy way. Make sure you are making time for yourself and your treatment or aftercare plans.
Exercise has enormous benefits for everyone. Exercise helps with stress reduction, endorphin release, and help you maintain a healthy body type and image. For folks in recovery exercise also helps fight boredom and is an avenue for setting and reaching health goals.
Support groups in recovery are an effective way to maintain sobriety, develop yourself in recovery, and share your experience with others. Addiction support groups come in many varieties. The most popular being twelve-step based programs like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. These are by no means the only option available however Other types of support groups exist as well such as Celebrate Recovery, LifeRing, Women for Sobriety and SMART Recovery.