Staying sober is challenging. It is difficult to stop when you’re used to turning towards alcohol or drugs as a means of escape or pleasure. However, it takes both strength and immense courage to overcome an addiction. Yet, it is one of the best decisions you can make for your physical and mental well-being.
The first step of recovery is checking into rehab. While you’re in rehab, you have professional counselors to guide you towards sobriety. Once you step out of the rehab, it falls on you to ensure you maintain staying sober. You need to create a plan for yourself, or else you may fall back on old habits. The road to recovery is not simple. There will be many hurdles and difficulties along the way. For this reason, we have laid down some guidelines that you can follow. Here’s how you can ensure you stay sober:
- Stay away from bad influences
When you’re on the path of becoming sober, you are highly vulnerable. You may not have it in you to defend yourself or keep yourself safe. Peer pressure can get to you. So, if you have friends who got you addicted in the first place, avoid them. Slight nudges on their part will be enough to convince you to go back to old habits.
- Get help
If you feel that you may need to go back to rehab, you should. Don’t ignore the way you think or feel. It doesn’t matter that you already checked out of rehab. What matters is you get timely help when you need it a second time. You should contact facilities such as the Delphi Health Group to guide you to the best rehab plans and options to choose from. These professionals will consider where you are and what your current condition is to help you find help. Don’t delay checking back into a facility if you feel like you’re crumbling again.
- Talk to a mental health counselor
You may feel agitated while you’re in recovery. Agitation may lead you to think about things and situations that can take a toll on you. Some thoughts you can subside, but some may overwhelm you. Since you can’t depend on any recreational substance for escapism, you need help. A mental health counselor knows how to work with patients in your condition. They have an idea about how you’re feeling and guide you out of it. Their expertise may help you dissect your thoughts and change the way you think. For anyone trying to get sober, it is good to have professional intervention as much as possible. Counselors also don’t limit their tactics to conversations. They deploy different counseling techniques. They even make you try various activities to help you understand your thoughts and behavior patterns and suggest ways to modify them.
- Manage your urges
It is normal to feel inclined to retrying a drug you’re trying to quit. But you need to find ways to suppress these urges. You can establish coping mechanisms to help you deal with them. Whenever you feel an urge occupy your mind elsewhere. You can do chores or write a journal as long as you don’t leave yourself unattended. You can also condition yourself to drink water if you feel like having any form of substance. You should also get into hobbies and try keeping up with them as much as you can. You can even set a system for yourself if you feel an urge to replace it with something else. If your desires are challenging to manage on your own, stay with a friend or with family.
- Communicate with your family
You need to create a support system for yourself. Your family can be pivotal for you during your time of need. You should let them know what being sober means to you and how they can help. Your family can also ensure that you’re getting adequate help. They can provide you a place to stay when you’re feeling down. They can also accompany you to events and keep you from drinking or indulging in any enabling activities. The support can help you feel less isolated on your road to recovery.
- Exercise more
Exercise helps you burn off excess calories and help your mind and body feel good. It is also a good distraction from unhealthy habits leading to getting addicted again. There are many kinds of exercises you can partake in. You can run in the park, do aerobics, do yoga or join a group exercise. All of these methods can help you keep your mind occupied as well as keep you healthy. Exercising also helps you keep your mind clear of thoughts and help you stay rational. If you deny yourself good physical health, it can be challenging to remain focused on maintaining sobriety.
- Manage physical pain
It would help if you stayed away from painkillers. Whether you go through a painful procedure or need instant relief, you need to find an alternate route. You may need to look at holistic medicine as a solution. These include acupuncture, massage, and even chiropractic methods. You should also talk to your primary physician about strategies to manage your pain without medication. Pain medication can get addictive. So your chances of relapsing are high. Therefore, don’t risk taking medication that can ruin your progress.
- Join support groups
Recovery can be a lonely process- you may feel misunderstood as well as ashamed. Therefore, consider joining support groups to avoid such feelings. The people you meet more or less share your viewpoint. Some of their stories may both move and inspire you. You may also feel more accepted and appreciated for wanting to become sober. It is also easy to relate to people because they will share your set of struggles and hindrances. You may even learn valuable tips on dealing with urges and avoiding risky situations. If you don’t want to go to a physical support group, you can join one online.
While you’re in recovery, you need to find ways to look after yourself. The path to recovery is difficult. There are many obstacles along the route, including many highs and lows. However, you can quickly bounce back with dedication, practical measures, and a support system in place. You need to find a new set of friends who won’t enable you. Never forget to take advantage of the professional services in case you feel you’re relapsing. Make sure your family understands your situation and extend support towards you. As for yourself, find ways to suppress your urges. Maybe take up exercising and look into support groups. When you keep your thoughts and yourself occupied, you’ll find yourself straying less towards substances of any form.
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