Paths to Recovery? You Can Thrive in 2018 with These Tips
If you’re recovering from addiction, you may feel like your life is out of order as 2018 begins. Whether you are just starting recovery or have been clean for years, you may need some help finding balance in your life after substance abuse. Here are a few ways you can start feeling like a new you in the new year.
Exercise is good for your mind and body, but it can also be an effective treatment for addiction. Many studies suggest that working out produces the same euphoric feelings as drugs and alcohol, without any negative side effects. Exercise can even reduce any added stress you may be feeling. Take your dog for a walk, try a yoga class, or even get outside for a nice hike. Having a hard time sticking to a routine? Find a supportive workout partner or even try a team sport. Team and group sports are especially effective in keeping member accountable to others, and keeping addicts away from their old habits.
Change up your space
For many people, home is a source of comfort but if you’re a recovering addict, your home may be full of constant reminders of your addiction. From the comfy blanket you wrapped yourself in when getting high, to the spaces where you had drinks with friends, it is crucial to eliminate triggers from your space.
First, ask a friend, relative, or professional to assist you in removing everything that you associate with your previous lifestyle. This includes any remaining drugs or alcohol, as well as any paraphernalia. Then, give the space a good cleaning. Scent can be a powerful trigger, so wash all linens, window coverings and clothes in a new laundry detergent with a different scent than you’re used to. Creating a fresh, welcoming home can help ease the stress of recovery.
Try something new
This may come as a surprise, but boredom can be a major trigger for recovering addicts. Your life revolved around your habit and you may find yourself with empty hours. Try filling those hours with new activities or hobbies to keep your mind occupied. Gardening is a relaxing way to pass the time, while creating beautiful spaces around your home. Get some cookbooks and try cooking for friends and loved ones. You could even spend downtime giving back to your community. Volunteering or helping others in need is a proven way to improve self-esteem while creating a positive link with your community. Staying busy can help keep your mind of drugs and alcohol and keep you on the path to recovery.
Part of your recovery will likely involve eliminating unhealthy relationships others. While breaking these ties can be key to staying clean, you may start to feel lonely and isolated. These feelings can be triggers on their own, so it is important to start building positive connections with people you can trust. Healthy relationships are an essential source of support and accountability for recovering addicts. Reach out to an old friend or venture out and make a few new friends.
You can thrive while recovering from drug or alcohol addiction this year. Change up your home and your routine to eliminate triggers, make sure your relationships are healthy ones and take care of yourself by staying active. Above all, be kind to yourself and remain proud that you are have started this process in the first place. By taking these steps, you can take back control of your life and make 2018 your greatest year yet.