The first step to sobriety is quite difficult, but the first steps to a new life are often more challenging.
In the beginning, you will experience withdrawal symptoms and feel a strong desire to drink or take drugs. Having escaped a cave of addiction after years, you are now starting over with a normal life. Success comes from taking steps, making changes, and implementing resolutions.
Here are 7 steps you can follow if you’ve recently got back from a rehab program, or are recovering and on the way to sober living:
1. Take Small Steps
Recovering addicts often make the mistake of thinking they will be ready to claim life or jump back to normal life once they leave the rehab. But soon you will come to the realization that you’re still far away from being “ready”. It is great to feel renewed, refreshed and energized right now, and you should absolutely live life to the fullest right now, but don’t attempt anything beyond what you can handle. It is extremely well worth it to take some time to reorient yourself to the new pace of life. Despite feeling recharged and re-energized, you should moderate your activities. It will probably take some time to adjust to the new pace, and life will feel quite different. Taking small steps is the golden rule in recovery.
2. Engage In Activities
During your addiction, your life was probably dominated by alcohol or drugs. You were engaged with thoughts like how to arrange your next fix and its consumption. How to fill this void now? Engage in meaningful, enjoyable, and constructive activities. Do things that will set your new life on the right path, be it picking up a hobby, volunteering with a social group, gaining experience in your field, or pursuing an education that will help advance your career. Also, spend time with your family, play board games, try cooking something, or help someone with house chores to keep yourself occupied.
3. Exercise Is a Must
You will notice a significant difference in your energy levels, your well-being, and your self-confidence by getting into a regular exercise routine. It doesn’t matter what you do to get in shape, whether you start running, hiking, swimming, cycling, yoga, or joining a sports team. Exercise also has the added benefit that you will tend to associate with people who are committed to healthy living, which will assist you in living a healthy lifestyle. You will benefit from exercising as you develop healthy habits.
4. Set And Achieve Your Goals
A vital step after recovering from addiction is figuring out what your life goals are and working toward achieving them. Once you are determined towards your goals, you will find that other things will begin to fall into place like getting enough rest and getting along with your family. Now that you’ve been given a fresh start, you have a chance to decide who you wish to be and what you wish to accomplish.
5. Fix Sleep Schedule
In all likelihood, your sleep schedule was in a bad state when you were addicted. Addicts often characterize “rest” as sleeping all day and staying up all night or going days without sleep then crashing. Sleeping for eight hours every night can make a big difference to your health. Your energy levels will be raised, moods lifted, mental alertness sharpened, and you will experience less illness. Rest well!
6. Eat Healthy Food
In all those years of addiction, your diet probably wasn’t the best. Your body must have been largely affected. Get rid of junk food, limit sugar, and eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish. Drink plenty of water. Avoid too much coffee. Eventually, you will begin to notice remarkable changes in your energy level, appearance, immunity, and overall health as your tastes and cravings change for healthy foods, and you will begin to prefer healthy over junk food.
7. Sober Circle
Don’t hang out with people you used to substance abuse with. You may still experience cravings from being around them. You can’t’ cut off’ people at once, so initially, even if you spend time with them, don’t be around them when they are consuming substances. Don’t fall for peer pressure again. You must put sobriety, your health, and happiness above sentimentality.
Remember you have come a long way. You still have a long way to go. So, take small steps. That is the key. You got this, okay?