After recovery from substance use disorder, maintaining sobriety and taking steps to prevent relapse are essential factors to a healthy life. Even with an intensive treatment plan, stats suggest that there is a 20-50% chance of relapse. So, the bottom line is that not only is it hard and commendable to recover from substance use, it’s even harder to manage recovery. It might look like a difficult road, but it is not impossible. This article entails tips to preserve your hard-earned sobriety.
Create a Positive Outlook
Life-changing events can sometimes alter thinking patterns and generate a negative outlook on life. Post-recovery, working on mindfulness, and creating a positive mindset are vital. Along with soothing effects, it will also help develop other hobbies and activities that will lead to sustained sobriety. It can be done in several ways; some institutions offer therapies that can help redirect negative thoughts, teach you how to deal with stressful situations, and stay focused. Serenity at Summit Rehab is one of the places that offer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), along with many other institutions.
CBT stands out from the other options because it is result-oriented; you define your goals and the methods to accomplish them and monitor your progress. It also works in the short term by encouraging self-help and preparing you to manage your life better.
Build or Join a Support Network
Human beings are social animals, and the support of other people is invaluable. Support networks have a significant value for anyone, especially after substance use recovery. If there is an existing support group nearby, joining that group will give you a community of like-minded people. In a support group, individuals become the strength of the whole group through their personal experiences and improve their quality of life by staying connected and motivated. If no support group is available, look into online platforms and Facebook groups.
Set Smaller Achievable Goals
One of the biggest mistakes you can make after recovery is to set unachievable long-term goals. That can lead to significant failures, which can foster feelings of hopelessness and reduce the chances of a sustained recovery. Setting smaller goals and celebrating every small victory irrespective of its significance for others is advisable. Did you get out of bed easily compared to before?
Congratulate yourself on this feat. Have you maintained yourself better compared to before? Congratulate yourself. Celebrating these little victories will enable you to generate a more positive outlook in life and look for more rewarding environments and experiences that will significantly impact your long-term recovery. Go through the process one day at a time.
Identify Personal Triggers
Identifying personal triggers is an integral part of preventing a relapse. It is usually done in therapy during recovery, but it is essential to recognize them and classify the internal and external triggers. After classification of the most significant risks or stimuli, you can make a plan to avoid those conditions properly. If stress is a trigger, you must plan to avoid any stressful situation or, if they are unavoidable, then prepare to deal with such problems effectively. If specific environmental cues are a trigger, you must change the environment to reduce the effects of that trigger.
Develop New Habits
Post-recovery, you might have a lot of extra time on your hands. You worked hard for that spare time, so make the best use of it. You need to develop new habits that provide you pleasure and create a positive outlook for you. Consider volunteering for a good cause, like shelters, and helping people. It will undoubtedly leave a positive influence on your mind that you can utilize to maintain recovery. Exercise is one of the best options you have in this regard. Research shows that regular exercise releases endorphins in your brain that keep you happy. With exercise, you will maintain a healthy lifestyle and develop a positive outlook.
Engage in relaxing activities
It is psychologically known that stress releases cortisol, a chemical that keeps a person on their toes and limits their openness to the environment. Post-recovery, you will have stressful moments due to Post-acute Withdrawal Syndrome, or PAWS, which may cause stress and mood changes. PAWS can become a serious barrier to a sustained recovery if you’re not careful. There are several relaxing activities like yoga, meditation, and practicing mindfulness that can make a positive impact on your daily life. Meditation techniques like breath focus can help you relax your heartbeat during stressful moments and gain control of the situation. Techniques like body scans will be essential in pinpointing the origin of anxiety and stress in your body and dealing with it. Hence it is vital to have a few relaxing activities.
A variety of techniques have been discussed that can be beneficial to your recovery. If you create a structured schedule and work on it individually, you will see a definite change in your daily life and enjoy a sustained recovery. Developing a positive outlook, managing your triggers, joining a support group, and meditating will significantly change your daily life post-recovery. You only lose when you give up; if you’re struggling, it means that you are fighting, and as long as you are fighting, you cannot lose. So, never give up and keep fighting.