Congratulations on completing your treatment! Reaching the finish line in your rehab program is an immensely important part of your recovery. But what is most important and the hardest to get through, is incorporating the coping mechanisms and skills that you learned in rehab into your daily life. Dealing with the ins and outs of real life is a never-ending struggle filled with highs and lows. But there are healthy habits you can implement into your daily life in order to make sure that you have the best chance at success after your treatment. Below, are five tips that you need to practice in order to live a sober lifestyle after completing treatment.
Have a Plan
Many people who have gone through treatment have experienced bumps in the road throughout their recovery. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that anywhere from 40-60% of people who suffer from substance use disorders relapse. In order to combat those statistics, make an aftercare plan to ensure that you stay on task during your recovery. Whether you start creating your plan while you are still in treatment or once you have made it out, it can be a truly essential part of your journey. In this plan, you can include phone numbers of therapists and physicians that you can call if you are feeling down, coping methods that you are planning to try, and sober activities that you are interested in utilizing. Transitioning from a treatment center in the real world can be very difficult and jarring at times. Having an aftercare plan gives you a foundation of information to go back to as you move through your sober journey.
Find a New Support System
Dealing with addiction is one of the hardest things that you can face. But, one of the most important things that you have to understand is that you can’t do it alone, even after completing treatment. The National Institute on Drug Abuse calls a drug addiction a “complex disease” that takes a lot “more than good intentions or a strong will.” Having a great support system is key.
As you look back on your past, you may realize that the only people that you associated with were people who directly correlated with your addiction. For example, it could be people that you bought the substance from, did the substance with, or talked about the substance with. In order to break those bad habits, you must get rid of those old relationships. Make the effort to look for new relationships with people who are going to support you as you live your sober lifestyle.
Finding a new support system can come in a variety of different ways around your local community. Research any support groups in your area to find individuals who are going through the same experiences that you are. You may want to enlist the help of your previous treatment center, or physician, to help you find local groups that they recommend will provide the support that you need. Also, consider one-on-one counseling as well. Going through counseling after treatment allows you to explore the new feelings and emotions that you are going through during this brand-new journey, as well as gaining some much-needed advice and support. If your family and friends are supportive of your new journey, reach out to them as well.
Try New Hobbies
Now that you are living a sober lifestyle, you probably have a lot more free time than you did before. It is important to replace your old habits with new ones and get rid of any boredom that you may be feeling. One of the best ways to do that is to try out some new hobbies. Living a sober life does not have to be boring! What hobbies you choose to try, completely depend on your interests. Some hobbies that you may want to try out include arts and crafts, reading, writing, volunteering in your community, exercising, playing sports, and learning a new instrument. If you are looking to learn a new skill, look into community centers or libraries in your area. These opportunities often have free or low-cost classes that you can take on to learn new things. You might even meet a new friend in the process.
Set Some Goals
As you go through your journey to recovery, it is important to constantly remember why you’re choosing to be sober. Be sure to write these goals down on a piece of paper and put them up where you can see it constantly throughout the day. Also, along with reasons why you’re choosing to be sober, write down any life goals that you have as well. This could be anything from buying a house to going back to school. If you are going through a hard time, you can look at these goals and remember that you are making the right decision about your life.
Deal with Past Mistakes
As you move into a brand-new lifestyle, you may find yourself wanting to push those old emotions, feelings, and events away. But the truth is that the shame and guilt from these events may eat you up inside and get in the way of your recovery. The only way to get over these emotions is to go through them. Take on these emotions head on and apologize to the people in your life that you have negatively affected through your addiction. Also, another way to deal with these emotions is to explore them in counseling. As you work through your emotions, you will have a clearer mind and have a better chance of succeeding in your recovery.
The transition after rehab can be difficult. But sober living is just within your grasp if you are willing to avoid triggers as much as possible and adopt new activities into your everyday life. With your new support system, you can get the advice that you need to thrive and have a new perspective on life. Now is the best time to start your sober journey and become the best “you” that you can be.