Not everyone is willing to get help for addiction. Among those who do, 40% to 60% who try to recover from a substance use disorder (SUD) will relapse. Addiction recovery is a process and is going to take time. There’s no right or wrong way. Let’s take a look at 5 do’s and don’ts in recovery that can help you succeed.
Be Prepared to Make Lifestyle Changes
The truth of the matter is that addiction recovery is going to take a complete 180 in your life. It’s not going to be easy, so be prepared to make lifestyle changes that put your recovery first and everything else second. Some common lifestyle changes that most recovering addicts recommend include:
- Exercising. Many people have a desire to just curl up in bed and waste their days away. After all, this is the easier route to take. It’s not always easy, but it’s important that you get out of bed everyday and get active. Move around. You don’t need to do a lot. You can simply take a walk around the block or go jogging with friends. Ideally, you should try to do at least 150 hours of moderate exercise a week if possible.
- Sleeping. Next up, most addiction experts agree that it’s important to make sleep a priority. By having a stable sleep schedule, you’ll let your body and mind heal itself. You’ll wake up more energized and more ready to tackle any obstacles that stand in your way. Most experts recommend getting anywhere from 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.
- Eating healthy meals. It’s important to eat only when you are hungry and to avoid skipping meals. Be more self-aware of the food that you put into your body. When you’re hungry, don’t reach out for a candy bar or a cupcake. Many recovering addicts run the risk of substituting one addiction for another, and unfortunately, sugar is very addictive.
- Finding a spiritual outlet or practicing mindfulness. Connecting with yourself internally can make a world of a difference. Learn how to relax and practice some spiritual exercises to quiet your mind.
There are many different types of lifestyle changes that can be made to aid in your recovery. You’ll need to incorporate these lifestyle changes into your life long-term in order to get the results that you’re looking for.
Identify and Avoid Triggers
One of the many facets of recovery is being able to identify triggers. There are many different types of triggers, and they’ll vary from one individual to another. For the most part, triggers are pretty easy to identify. After all, if you were always doing drugs or drinking with certain people, it makes sense that they’ll remind you of your past substance use.
One of the most important keys to recovery is learning how to identify triggers. To do that, you’ll need to pay attention to your body and your mind. Some triggers may not be as obvious as you’d think. For example, it may actually be a certain shirt that reminds you of alcohol or drugs. There are certain physical and psychological sensations that you can look out for.
Some common triggers that many people forget to include are emotions. Both negative and positive emotions can be triggers. Some people are more prone to drink or use drugs when they’re feeling frustrated while others may be more prone to relapse when they’re feeling happy.
Once you’ve identified your triggers, make sure that you avoid them at all cost.
Surround Yourself with Supportive People
Studies have shown time and time again that peer support plays a key and integral role in addiction recovery. You need to have supportive people in your life if you’re going to succeed. This includes:
- Talking to family and friends about your addiction. The right people will encourage you to make the lifestyle changes that you need, and will offer support and assistance whenever you’re feeling down.
- Going to mutual support groups and recovery meetings. Some people find it difficult to talk to family and friends. After all, they feel as if their loved ones don’t really fully understand what they’re going through. In these instances, mutual support groups and recovery meetings, like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) meetings can make a huge difference.
Whenever you’re feeling down or unmotivated, talk to someone. You’d be surprised at how big of a difference that can make in your recovery. Building a strong support network can take time. You need to know what and who you’re looking for, as well as where to look.
Remind Yourself Constantly on the Reasons You’re Staying Sober
A positive mindset can make a huge difference on your road to recovery. Remind yourself of the reasons that you’re staying sober. Maybe, your motivation is your family. Or, maybe, you’re doing it for a completely different reason.
It doesn’t really matter what your motivations are. The important thing is to keep those motivations close to you. Consider writing down what motivates you to stay sober and keeping it in a journal. Or, consider just talking to yourself in the mornings to remind yourself why recovery is important to you.
If you’re not too sure why you want to get clean anymore, it’s important that you revisit the idea. Your motivation may be waning. Many recovering addicts recommend talking this out with a counsellor or a therapist. An addiction therapist and counsellor can also walk you through the do’s and don’ts in recovery.
Pick Up a Wholesome Hobby
Being able to stay busy will also distract your mind from past substance use. Working on your recovery will be hard, so you’ll need to find a hobby that you can take your mind off your troubles. Make sure that the hobbies that you pick are outside the realm of addiction as much as possible.
If you were always interested in photography, now is the time to pick up a camera and take some lessons. You never know where your new found hobbies may take you. There are many hobbies that you can try. Consider:
- Writing a book or a poem. Writing is naturally cathartic for most people. It can be an outlet for you to express your creative thoughts or whatever is going through your mind. You don’t necessarily have to be the next J.K. Rowlings. Explore different writing styles and outlets and see where they take you.
- Going hiking or canoeing. Any exercises that allow you to spend time outdoors can be very freeing. Studies show that those who spend more time outdoors tend to feel more relaxed.
- Reading. Books, magazines, research papers, journals and even newspapers can be great for relaxing and critical thinking. Make sure that you choose books or writing pieces that aren’t triggering.
Other fun hobbies can include painting and drawing or crocheting. It really doesn’t matter what you choose to do, as long as you’re productive with your time. During recovery, most recovering substance abusers will usually find that they have a lot more time on their hands, and finding a hobby to occupy themselves with can keep them from relapsing.
Amethyst Recovery Will Prepare You for the Journey Ahead and Learn More About the Do’s and Don’ts in Recovery
Addiction recovery takes time, and it’s a huge journey. You’ll be making significant changes to your life. Amethyst Recovery can prepare you for the journey ahead. We know what you need, and we can guide you in the right direction. We customize all of our addiction treatment plans to the needs of each patient.
One of the most important things is that we don’t only focus on addiction treatment, but also on aftercare services. In short, we’ll prepare you for life outside of the rehab facility. We’ll equip you with the skills you need to face future obstacles. There’s no right and wrongs when it comes to your own do’s and don’ts in recovery. Different things work for different people.
If you have any questions or if you’re already in recovery and have some tips and tricks on some do’s and don’ts in recovery, leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.