Addiction is a terrible disease that strips you of your life and tries to take you to the darkest corners of “rock bottom.” If you’ve given yourself the tools to begin your ascent toward a new and healthy life, congratulations. You’ve found an inner strength that can get you through the lowest of lows. But sometimes, even the strong need a little something to keep them going. Here are a few ideas that can help you on your journey.
- Engage in exercise. Strong body = strong mind and your mind is what’s going to get you through this. If you don’t already make fitness a priority, begin a group exercise class, which will help your regiment your time and give you something to look forward to.
- Create positive social relationships. If you’re like many addicts, you started taking drugs/drinking alcohol after succumbing to peer pressure. When you get sober, you have to leave the negative friends and influences behind. Surround yourself with people who see your best qualities and make you feel good about being you.
- Nourish you mind. Read a book, work a puzzle, or enjoy a good laugh with friends. These things may not make you more productive, but they will help you keep your mind centered and clear of the clutter and confusion that might lure you off your path.
- Learn a new skill. If you lost your job because of your substance abuse, there’s never been a better time to change careers. Don’t be afraid to pursue a new degree or take classes to help you learn new job skills. Fast Company cautions that the first few days and weeks obtaining new skills is the hardest; don’t allow yourself to give up. A new career might just be the long-term change you need to maintain your sobriety.
- Do something good. Addiction can rob you of your sense of purpose, especially if you lost important parts of your life along with it. Start regaining your sense of self by volunteering for a cause near and dear to your heart. Psychology Today explains that when you volunteer, you make a choice to do something positive and can focus on something you feel strongly about.
- Set goals. Goals are what keep us motivated. They help us create structure and allow us to draft our own plans, whether for professional success or personal freedom. Set goals for yourself that will help you turn your vision of the future into a reality that doesn’t involve the things that brought you down. Start with small goals that will lead up to larger, more meaningful ones. For instance, if you lost custody of your children, set the goal to earn those privileges back by creating a “to-do” list of actions you must take to prove you’ve changed so you can regain their trust.
- Establish healthy habits. Your time as an addict was likely filled with negative actions: drinking, stealing and lying. Instead, replace these with healthy habits that can help to keep you safe and sober. Make a point to spend time outside each day, wake up in the morning and take a minute to just breathe and be alone with yourself, start cooking at home and make nutrition a priority. Other healthy habits include taking a time-out when you’re angry, limiting screen time and learning how to accept criticism without getting down on yourself.
- Avoid relapse triggers. Perhaps most importantly, if you want to stay sober, you have to learn to identify and manage problems that might lead to relapse. This might be arguing with your spouse, stressing over money, or driving by the liquor store. Whatever your trigger, eliminate it from your life or take steps to change your reaction so you aren’t tempted by your vice.
Addiction doesn’t have to win. Celebrate each victory and know that you are strong enough to keep going. It takes work, and you have to fight for it constantly, but sobriety is a battle worth winning.
About the Author
Adam Cook is the founder of Addiction Hub, which locates and catalogs addiction resources. He is very much interested in helping people find the necessary resources to save their lives from addiction. His mission is to provide people struggling with substance abuse with resources to help them recover.
P.S: I really appreciate being found out and by people with whom I share common passions, values and all in between. I am very grateful to Adam for finding my website cool enough to host his article. Such useful tips and I will sure be dispensing copies out to my clients. Such articles will go a long way to beat the Stigma surrounding addiction and recovery, and mental health/illness overall. Please while here, you can reach Adam via an email: firstname.lastname@example.org