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Addiction is a major problem in the United States, primarily due to drug and alcohol abuse. Worldwide, over 300 million people struggle with alcohol use disorder. These issues often lead to life-threatening consequences like car accidents, overdose, and even violence or physical abuse toward others.
Recovering from addiction is possible with the proper treatment. Like other disorders, getting professional help can ensure one gets back on their feet and take back control of their life. However, the path toward healing can be challenging.
Here are 12 tips to help you or a loved one build a healthy lifestyle for addiction recovery success.
Continue Professional Treatment
Getting the proper treatment to help with an addiction is only the first step toward recovery. Undergoing rehab helps one handle the most challenging part, which involves withdrawal syndrome and introducing behavioral changes. However, stepping outside, back to one’s old life, is usually the most arduous journey.
After the rehabilitation period, which typically lasts at least 30 days, the patient returns to the outside world for a fresh start. For most people, this step is the most crucial. Some may relapse and go back to their old ways, primarily due to exposure to triggers. In this case, continuous professional treatment is essential.
Continuing therapy helps strengthen your willpower to change. Addiction is difficult to combat alone, so getting all the guidance you need is vital. Instead of battling it alone, it’s best to continue talking to a therapist and discuss a long-term recovery plan to maximize success.
Connect With A Support Community
Recovery becomes a little easier with a community that provides support and encouragement. Being with a support group can help one recognize the struggles of recovering from addiction and know that they’re not alone.
Weekly meetings with an addiction recovery support group help individuals confide with each other. It allows one to open up about their challenges and share ways to help them cope. It’s also crucial to recognize that full recovery is possible. One may struggle longer than others, but knowing each one’s recovery stories can bring hope.
Think Of Your Personal Goals
Some days, finding the motivation to prevent relapse can be extremely difficult. Since some people struggling with addiction are also battling other mental health issues like anxiety and depression, fear and hopelessness are understandable.
One way to help find your motivation is to set realistic and measurable goals. You can start with the smallest achievements you can think of. It can be as simple as doing your laundry on a set schedule or watering plants. Attaining these small goals and chores can give one a sense of fulfillment, which helps empower your will to change.
Aside from doing small tasks, it’s also best to consider your long-term sobriety goals. Think of the positive things that happened when you started your journey and picture what you can achieve if you continue.
Consider What You Value
Reflecting on what you value in life fuels you toward recovery. Many people battling addiction have decided to get help to protect the ones they cherish the most. It can be their family, a partner, friends, or a career. Addiction can take away the most valuable things in life, and reminding yourself of these precious moments can help you regain the power to overcome the most difficult challenges.
There are many ways to remind yourself of what you value. One way is through writing a diary. You can remember your most cherished moments and write them one by one. Since addiction may have also taken a toll on your memory, trying to remember things may be quite a struggle. Therefore, trying to remember is an excellent mental exercise.
Practicing mindfulness through meditation is one of the most effective ways to recover from addiction. Integrating it into your lifestyle can help you achieve mental, emotional, and physical wellness.
Mindfulness is being focused and aware of the sensations around your environment. It’s a common element in some types of cognitive behavioral therapy used for addiction treatment.
Practicing mindfulness can help you slow down and take one step at a time. You can be truly present in the moment by focusing on one thing alone. It can be as simple as washing the dishes. You can focus on the temperature of the water on your hands and the smell of the dish soap as you think of nothing else but these seemingly trivial but calming experiences.
Moreover, practicing mindfulness can help identify your triggers and evaluate how you react. With discipline, you can regain stronger control of yourself and overcome the temptations that may lead to relapses.
Be Physically Active
Exercising has many benefits to one’s overall wellness. Aside from reaping the physical health benefits, you can also start experiencing how it helps your mental and emotional state. Physical activities trigger the release of feel-good hormones, such as dopamine and serotonin, providing a sense of reward and fulfillment.
Some experts suggest that physical exercises like walking, dancing, running, swimming, boxing, and gardening can help one recover from addiction. These activities can help relieve stress, anxiety, and depression and even help curb one’s unhealthy cravings.
Furthermore, getting physically active can help boost your self-esteem. Your confidence plays a significant role when resisting triggers, so improving it is essential to full recovery.
Addiction can damage relationships. The failure to communicate your needs and ask for help often leads to isolation. As you recover, you can start socializing again and rebuild your connections.
Socializing and rebuilding relationships during your recovery can be intimidating. However, going out, communicating with your loved ones, and finding new friends can help you create a fresh start. A recent study also suggests that frequent social interactions can help one control cravings and prevent relapse.
Eat Healthy Meals
In most cases, addiction is accompanied by unhealthy eating habits. You might have gone by eating fast food, salty snacks, and sugary drinks. While these may be harmless in moderation, considering the nutrients you’re getting from each meal is necessary for your recovery.
Eating healthy and delicious meals fuels your body to achieve more. Recent studies also explore the connection between your mental and gut health. A troubled intestine may cause or occur alongside anxiety, stress, and depression. Therefore, watching what you eat is crucial.
Some of the meal essentials you may include in your diet are poultry, fish, tofu, vegetables, berries, and fiber-rich food. It’s also best to consult a nutritionist to create a specific diet plan to achieve your desired goals.
Addiction takes a toll on someone’s perceived self-worth and confidence. People battling addiction know the substances damage their bodies and mind, but the disorder takes control. As you recover, regaining your sense of self and remembering your worth is a significant step to renewing your life.
Prioritizing self-care is one of the foundations of building a healthy lifestyle for addiction recovery. Taking care of your mind and body is the best way to reaffirm that you are worth it. It also helps you foster kindness towards yourself, making you more forgiving when you feel like you’re failing.
Your self-care goals may include changing your diet, incorporating a skincare routine, exercising, or getting a regular massage. Do things that make you smile, and remember that life is worth fighting for.
Revisit Your Hobbies
Keeping yourself busy with activities that bring joy is an excellent way to prevent relapse. Since addiction may have taken a portion of your life in the past, it’s time to regain it in the present by revisiting the hobbies you once enjoyed.
Finding happiness in little things can do wonders for your overall mental state. You may return to the hobbies you left or find new ones that interest you. Some even use art and music to share their struggles during recovery to provide inspiration for those going through the same journey.
Renew Your Environment
One of the common reasons for relapsing is going back to the environment that exposes the patient to the same triggers. Some experts suggest that starting fresh in a new community can help increase one’s chances of recovery success.
Renewing your environment helps you avoid situations that trigger old habits. In most cases, people relapse after keeping in touch with friends who continue misusing substances. While you may try to encourage your friends to join your recovery process, healing is ultimately an individual choice.
The best path toward recovery is to find a new place that encourages positive behavioral changes. A safe environment also helps you find new recreational activities to enjoy your free time and meet inspiring people who support the brand-new you.
Acknowledge Your Past
Feeling guilty or shameful about your past is normal. However, fixating on these negative emotions can only hinder recovery. The best way to deal with your history is to acknowledge and accept it and slowly let it go.
Self-forgiveness is one of the most challenging things to do during recovery. It’s important to remember that addiction has made you lose control over your mind and actions. As you recover, accept that the past is done, and it’s time to move forward.
One must understand that recovery from addiction isn’t linear. It’s a long journey that involves ups and downs. Sometimes, it may seem like you’re failing, and it’s okay to feel that way. Getting the right help can help you overcome these struggles and allow you to be your best self.
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