The Key Addiction Treatment Center gets asked what to do in your life to promote sobriety. You will face challenges on your journey to long-term sobriety. Staying sober after completing an addiction treatment program requires patience and perseverance. If you’re working toward sobriety, consider five habits that promote sobriety.
1. Play to Your Strengths
One way to maintain sobriety after completing an addiction treatment program is to use your strengths or natural abilities and the skills you have learned during addiction treatment.
(After substance abuse, sober living requires using your strengths to make healthy choices to achieve your addiction recovery goals. However, you must first identify your strengths.)
There may have been times you pushed through a situation when you felt like quitting. You are determined if you get up each day, go to work or school, or handle other responsibilities during active addiction. There may have been times you pushed through a situation when you felt like quitting. That determination is a strength that can help you work towards a successful recovery.
Use that persistence to move forward in your addiction recovery.
Self-awareness is another strength you developed during your journey toward recovery. A self-aware person understands how their behavior impacts them and those around them. When you’re self-aware, you are mindful of your actions, desires and feelings.
When you’re self-aware, you recognize that alcohol abuse is a problem and know what triggers you to drink. For example, if you enjoyed going to parties and drinking with friends in the past, you understand that a party with alcohol will tempt you to drink again. Self-awareness is a strength that can help you avoid many of those situations.
3. Find New Ways To Have Fun
If drinking has been your idea of having fun, recovery is the time to discover healthy daily lifestyle habits. You don’t have to battle boredom. Finding a new hobby is one way to do something constructive and enjoyable.
Leisure and Recreational Activities
You might be surprised at what activities your local community offers. You may find a cooking class to help you create a well-balanced diet.
Learn to draw, paint, grow a small garden, or try woodworking. Participating in an exercise program is a healthy habit that can strengthen your body after years of drug addiction. One benefit of taking a class for fun is meeting new people with similar interests and developing new friendships.
Do you wish you could travel? Go for it! Go hiking, have a picnic, soak up some sunshine and appreciate the natural beauty around you. Plan a getaway with sober friends and enjoy some new scenery. If you live near the mountains or a beach, a day trip can help you enjoy sober living and give you a new perspective.
Look for a place to volunteer. Almost every town has volunteer opportunities. Charities that serve children, homeless shelters and animal rescue groups need a helping hand. Volunteers often feel happier because helping others is a fulfilling way of giving back.
4. Care for Your Mental Health
Mental health and addiction play hand-in-hand. You can practice self-care or meditation or take a walk to promote a healthy mindset and reduce stress. There are times you’ll be alone with your thoughts.
Have you missed reading? Find some time each day to chill on your sofa with a good book, or go to a park, find a comfortable spot and enjoy the outdoors while diving into a new title. If you enjoy cooking, why not try a new recipe? Jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles and similar games can also help you wind down and relax, promoting good emotional health.
5. Form a Positive Social Circle
Reconnecting with family and friends is essential in helping you stay mentally healthy. Loved ones usually sense when you may be struggling and are headed for a substance use relapse.
Family and friends who were there to encourage you during your early recovery work can help you in your journey toward staying sober. Avoid isolation by accepting invitations to spend time with friends and family. Whether watching a ball game or going out for dinner, positive friendships with sober people can benefit your mental health and help you maintain sobriety.
You can draw confidence and strength from family and friends who want to see you succeed. Allow them to help you. They can offer a listening ear and encouragement. You may have many friends, but those who want to see you succeed in recovery will have your back during tough times and offer stability.
People who understand your trials are the people you can call when you’re lonely or struggling and have the urge to take a drink. They can help you work through difficulties. True friends and support groups can motivate and strengthen you, but they’ll also hold you accountable and help you understand that you must take responsibility for your actions.
Protect Your Well-Being — Choose To Say “No”
It’s brave and responsible to say “no” to activities where there are temptations to drink. If friends invite you to a local bar, you can respectfully turn down the invitation. You only owe them explanations if you want to share why it’s not a good idea.
6. Set Expectations
Expectations are the things you believe you can achieve during recovery. However, your expectations must be realistic. The pressure to be successful is something most people deal with and can get in the way of long-term sobriety. Becoming overwhelmed can increase stress levels and leave you feeling frustrated. Be kind to yourself, take your time and keep moving forward.
You may be excited about the sober life, rebuilding relationships and showing your loved ones that you have changed. However, if they doubt you, don’t be alarmed. Give them time to get to know the person that you are now. Focus on the things you can control, and keep working toward your sobriety goals. Change is recognizable; your loved ones will eventually see it and be happy for you.
When you have a substance use disorder, expect bumps in the road to recovery. Your life may be going well, but you may need to resolve financial and legal issues. Be patient and understand that problems develop over time.
What Happens After Rehab?!
Aftercare planning is vital once you’ve completed an initial treatment program. This lies outside the six habits because it’s critical for your recovery aftercare. Community organizations and support groups are available with people eager to help you during recovery. They offer support during addiction recovery and can recommend additional treatment options to help you manage stress, avoid relapse and stay on a positive path of healthy living. You can find a support group and continue your alcohol rehab as you work toward developing a sober lifestyle.
Our goal is to help individuals develop habits that lead to a healthier lifestyle that doesn’t include alcohol or drugs. If you or someone you care about needs support to achieve sobriety, contact us at 831-484-4191 to speak to a recovery adviser.