Addiction is a chronic disease that requires constant management. It’s similar to living life with diabetes or heart disease; making healthy lifestyle changes is essential for keeping relapse at bay.
Especially during early recovery, it’s important to take the necessary steps to stay focused and safeguard your health. Establishing smart habits can help set the stage for lifelong health and sobriety.
Tips and Tools for Recovery Success
In early sobriety, it’s important to establish habits that can help minimize uncertainty, anticipate relapse risks and develop scenarios to handle them. Think about choices that will keep your mind relaxed and positive, your body nourished, your spirit happy and your emotions in balance. Do your best to stick with habits and behaviors that will keep you on track and inspire you to stay sober.
Here are a few ideas to reinforce the life skills you’re learning in rehab:
- Commitment. No one will ever say that it’s easy to get or stay sober – it requires all of your effort and then some. You’ll need to commit 100 percent to substance-free living! Do your best to remind yourself why you chose to quit drugs or alcohol. Think about all of the harm these addictive substances caused in your life – and all the good that’s ahead thanks to your chance at sobriety.
- Ask for help and support. Even if you’re completely committed, it’s likely that you’ll face temptation, especially as you’re building confidence and learning triggers. It’s okay to ask for help; you can’t do this alone. Lean on your counselors, peers and sober companions, family and friends to help you through this crucial phase of recovery.
- Prioritize. It’s easy to become overzealous or compulsive while you’re trying to sort out what it means to live life sober. During this time, your brain’s addictive dopamine response is sensitive and easily simulated by activities like eating, shopping, exercising or even falling in love. Keep this in mind and keep your self-care at the top of the list. As you progress in your recovery, you’ll learn to balance and prioritize work, hobbies, chores, pleasures, exercise and rest.
- Be kind to yourself. As you work to refine your skills, you may experience a few stumbles – and that’s okay. Forgive yourself and view your mistakes as stepping stones to lifelong sobriety.
- Care for your body. Diet, sleep and exercise are cornerstones of sobriety. Do your best to eat a varied diet (fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy), stick to a regular eating schedule (breakfast, lunch, dinner and healthy snacks), get proper rest and exercise daily.
- Stay social. While you’ll certainly experience those days when you just want to be alone, isolating yourself is never the answer. Successful recovery requires a solid support network. Attend regular support meetings, set dates with sober friends and seek opportunities (like volunteering) where you can meet others with shared interests.
- Schedule in relaxation. Making time for relaxation every day can help make it a habit. Stress is a major relapse trigger, so it’s smart to integrate relaxation strategies like mindfulness training, meditation and yoga into your daily life.
- Track your progress. Writing in a journal is a great way to record your successes and failures – and then learn from both. You can also use your journal to practice gratitude, which can help reinforce your commitment to sobriety and help you take pleasure in all of the little and big joys ahead.
Healthy Habits at NorthStar Transitions
At NorthStar Transitions, we offer a general wellness program to help our clients develop healthy habits and routines. To learn more about our treatment programs and services, call today: 303-625-6335.