Addiction recovery can be a long and challenging task. While it would be so comforting to believe that we are immune from addiction, this simply isn’t so.
In fact, addiction can happen to anyone. It’s true!
Addiction is caused by many different factors, but it always comes down to poor coping mechanisms.
When we are unable to cope with life stressors, we develop coping mechanisms to help us get through these stressors.
Some of us turn to drugs, sure, while others turn to video games, food, or even unrequited love. No matter the addiction, it is important to develop healthy coping mechanisms during recovery.
If healthy coping skills are not developed, then relapse is imminent.
Sounds awful, right? Well, it is. Addiction recovery demands a lot of dedication and effort, but it is not unachievable. Because the basic disease model of addiction suggests that this is a lifelong task, it is important to develop healthy ways to manage it.
Here are 12 tips you can support yourself through addiction recovery, no matter what you may be addicted to.
12 Tips For A Successful Recovery From Addiction
1. Eat a Nutritious Diet
Taking care of your physical health is crucial when you're in recovery from addiction.
Your body is in total repair mode, so provide it with the building blocks it needs in order to make those repairs. Eat lots of fresh produce, whole grains, and lean protein - these foods will give your body the nutrients it needs to repair the damage of addiction.
Do your best to eat only when you're hungry and stop when you're full.
2. Get Some Exercise Every Day
Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body and your mind, so get moving!
Working out won't just make you fitter - it's also a good way to boost your mood and manage your emotions.
Find a type of exercise you like to do, such as walking or swimming, and try to get at least 30 minutes of activity a day.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Get at least eight hours of sleep every night. Do your best to wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day, even on the weekends.
Your body needs plenty of shut-eye to repair the damage of addiction, and getting enough sleep also boosts your mood and decision-making skills.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
Hydrate your body with at least eight glasses of water every day.
Drinking water helps you stay alert and focused throughout the day, and it'll help curb impulses to snack on unhealthy foods.
Water also helps flush toxins from your body and supports the liver in kidneys during the process.
Though you likely don’t have any residual drugs in your system by the time you enter recovery, your body will need the extra support as it stabilizes itself.
5. Develop some New Hobbies
If you try to live your life the way you did before recovery, you'll probably be tempted to relapse into old habits.
Avoid falling back into your old patterns of behavior by filling your time with fun, new activities.
Pick up old hobbies that you dropped when your addiction started, or try some new activities you've always been curious about.
Keep yourself busy by planning to do something interesting every day - don't give yourself too much idle time to dwell on the past.
6. Seek out a New Social Circle
One of the hardest - but most important - parts of addiction recovery is finding a new social circle.
As much as you might still care about your old friends, they may not be the best influence as you go through recovery. Even if you think you're strong enough to handle it, going back to your old social circle is a certain route to relapse for most people in recovery.
Instead, find some new, supportive friends to spend time with.
A support group can be a good place to meet people who are going through the same thing as you so that you do not go through withdrawal alone. You can also try joining a club or taking a class to meet people with similar interests.
7. Start or Renew a Spiritual Practice
Sometimes faith can help you stay strong when nothing else works.
Make spirituality a part of your life during recovery.
If you are religious, attend services regularly and get involved in your religious community. If you aren't religious, consider taking up meditation or yoga, which can help you find a sense of peace and connecteness.
8. Find Healthy Coping Strategies
Many people struggle with addiction because they use alcohol or drugs to self-medicate or deal with emotions.
Now that you're sober, you can't use substances as a crutch anymore, so work on finding some healthier ways to cope with negative feelings.
For example, you could try exercising, talking with a friend, writing in a journal, or praying. If you're struggling, talking to a therapist can really help, too.
9. Be Honest with Yourself and Others
Honesty is one of the key principles of recovery.
There are many types of addiction, all of which involve a lot of lying, both to yourself and to other people.
If you really want to get better, learning to be honest is a must.
Honesty can come in many different forms. You may need to honestly assess your cravings in order to better understand what causes them. Or you may need to honestly reflect on your positive qualities so that you don’t slip into a negative spiral, which is quite common during both addiction and recovery.
10. Manage Your Money
The sooner you get a handle on your financial life, the better. For many addicts, addiction can destroy a person’s financial stability.
Take the time during your recovery to organize your finances, understand your potential to earn, and make a plan.
Addiction recovery is not just about getting clean. It is also about creating a life that has no room for drugs, too. Start saving and paying off debt now, so you can have greater peace of mind later.
11. Keep a Gratitude Journal
An attitude of gratitude can make all the difference when it comes to staying sober.
By keeping a gratitude journal you will increase your happiness for months to come.
Try jotting down five things that you are grateful for each morning for a week. See how it feels and notice any changes in your mood.
Stick with it for as long as possible and the benefits will continue to increase.
12. Set Goals for Your Future
You're far less likely to relapse when you have hopes and dreams for the future.
Think about what you want to do with your life, and make a plan for how to get there.
Now that you're sober, you can do anything you set your mind to, so dream big!
There is life beyond addiction and it's better than you ever might have guessed.
Though it may be hard to recognize it now, you are well on your way to a happy and abundant life.
By making healthy lifestyle choices, you can stay sober and build a life you're proud of, one day at a time.
Start to help people with their recovery efforts by sharing this article with your social connections.