Starting your life over after battling an addiction can feel like it’s just that: starting over. It’s a difficult transition, and many people in recovery find themselves facing relapse under the weight of coping with it all. It’s important to remember that this process is a lengthy one, and that nothing will happen overnight. That’s why it’s imperative that you give yourself some time to heal and learn how to manage your expectations.
Here are a few tips on how to stay safe and healthy after living with addiction.
Take it slow
You may feel as though you’ve moved on to a new chapter and are ready to take on the world, and that’s wonderful! However, it’s important to remember that recovery takes time. Removing yourself from the addiction is only the first step, and there may be days when you don’t feel like yourself. It’s a normal part of getting healthy, but it can make some individuals feel sad or edge into depression. Take things slowly and don’t jump into anything quickly. You’ll thank yourself later.
Part of recovery is owning up to any damage you might have caused your loved ones, so it’s a good idea to talk to them and attempt to make peace. Even if they seem happy for you now that you’re in recovery, there may be some underlying animosity that rears its head down the line, so now is a good time to open up and allow them to do the same. Remember, it’s important not to let any old anger or hurt feelings into these discussions; the past is gone. Focus instead on the present and the near future.
Find a healthy hobby
It’s always helpful for those in recovery to find a hobby they enjoy doing. You might learn to play an instrument, or take a painting class. Read books, start journaling or writing a blog, or even start a garden. If it’s a healthy expression of your creativity, have at it. Devoting your time to worthy energies will help you feel better and keep your focus on your recovery, where it should be.
It can be difficult for some people in recovery to socialize, especially if their old friends were involved in aiding the addiction. It’s important to get out of the house and make new friends, or stay in touch with family members you may not see very often. Cutting yourself off from others can lead to depression, so make an effort to get social in places that don’t require drinking, such as book clubs or workout groups.
Take care of yourself
Taking good care of yourself is vital when you’re in recovery. Eating a well balanced diet, exercising daily, and getting enough sleep are the three most important things you can do during this time, so set a bedtime and stick to it and refrain from watching television or looking at your phone or computer at least an hour before bed. Ask your doctor about any exercise routine before you begin.
Practice self care
It’s okay to focus on yourself now, so find things that make you happy and try to fit them in at least once a day. They can be simple things, such as enjoying a long hot bath before bed, or taking the time to watch an old movie. You might also consider taking up meditation or yoga, or get a service dog, all of which can help with anxiety and stress and allow you to focus on positivity.