When it comes to addiction, the road to recovery is long and not easy. One of the biggest fears or recovery is relapse. No one wants to go back to where they started after all the hard work and time spent going through rehab. Those who finally achieve long-term sobriety and a healthy lifestyle have experienced at least one relapse along the road to recovery. Being sober is a big achievement on its own but staying that way and living healthy is a way of life that requires hard work and consistency.
There is already a stigma attached to alcohol and substance addiction that people don’t associate with chronic diseases like asthma and diabetes. A relapse causes a strain on the patient and the relationship between friends and family.
Addiction is a brain disease. You have to accept relapse as a common symptom of addiction. However, this does not mean you should relax and not take steps towards staying sober. You have the power to make better choices. Even though it is not easy, this guide will help you manage your sober life, stay healthy, and help you on your recovery journey.
1. Change Your Routine
When you were an addict, all you probably did was to drink and get high. What about the times you were not drinking or abusing substances? Your thoughts were mostly about how to get your next drink or fix.
So, what do you do with your time now? Addiction has left a huge vacuum in your life, and you need to fill that vacuum by engaging yourself in activities that are enjoyable, fun, and constructive.
Stay away from the toxic aspects of your old life. Start volunteering, find a new hobby, spend time with family, do a certo detox, and try to read new books, or do anything that gives your life a new meaning. You need to know that your new routine will take time adjusting to, and you need patience and willingness to try out new things.
2. Identify Your Triggers
Before you can maintain sobriety and stay healthy, you need to identify your triggers. Triggers are feelings, thoughts, and memories that remind you of your former lifestyle. Triggers are different for everyone. These triggers could be people and places like hanging out with your friends after work. It could be bars, parties, nightclubs, sporting events, free time, or boredom.
Other triggers could be stress, relationship problems, family issues, and financial worries. Identifying these triggers is a big step in learning how to avoid them and manage them.
Your family, friends, and recovery professionals are important in helping you avoid these triggers and provide you with the best coping mechanisms to guide you.
3. Stay Active
Regular exercise brings about physical, emotional, and mental health benefits. It does not only improve physical health, but it reduces stress, helps promote good sleep, and makes you feel happy and stable.
Register for a gym or yoga class and make it a part of your new routine. If you don’t like going to the gym, there are many other activities to get your body moving. Do some cardio, and volunteer in your local community. If you like dancing, join a dance class and start moving your body in ways that bring you happiness.
Martial art is also a great activity for learning the discipline and power of the mind.
4. Eat Healthily
If you have spent years drinking and abusing drugs, your diet is not likely going to be the best. The body needs a good diet to thrive at all times. Remove junk food from your diet. Cut out sugar and unhealthy fats or keep them to a minimum. Load up your diet with fish, lean meat, fruits, and fresh vegetables.
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine. The change you desire cannot happen overnight. With time, your choice of food will change, and you will start craving healthy food instead of junks. A healthy diet will cause a remarkable change in your appearance, energy level, and overall health.
5. Join a Support Group
A support group is important to staying sober and living healthy. It will help remind you that you are not alone. You can join a professional-led therapy group or a peer-led group. If you don’t want to step out of your house, you can join an online group.
Many addicts who are just trying to recover will find a sense of community from support groups, especially in times of triggers and relapse. Being able to share your deepest fears and insecurities with people of like- mind will be of great help in achieving sobriety.
6. Celebrate Your Little Achievements
Recovery is a long process. This is why you need to celebrate your little wins and applaud yourself every time you hit a milestone. Whether you have been sober for just three days, a week, a month, or a year, it is still worth celebrating.
Carry your family and friends along in your achievements. Go out for a picnic on your sober anniversaries and reflect on your journey. Your sober anniversary is an important part of your life. It is a time to celebrate your strength, discipline, and perseverance.
A healthy and sober lifestyle is going to improve your life. Staying consistent is tough. But with the right support, you can achieve it. The future is a blank slate. It is up to you to follow this guide and make your way to full recovery.
Hannah Gilbert is a professional editor, content strategist, and a part of gahmj team. Apart from writing, Mary is passionate about hiking and gaming. Feel free to contact her via Facebook