Author: Michelle Petersen
Staying Positive in Recovery
Recovery is a rocky road that has its ups and downs. While it may not be easy, there are things you can do to stay positive and motivated both mentally and physically.
According to the experts at Swift River, “Getting to the root of your addiction will be a confusing and emotional experience, but understanding your substance abuse completely is an important step in conquering it. Additionally, marriage and/or family counseling can help facilitate healthy conversations with your loved ones and pave the way for stronger relationships.” Therefore, before anything else, you need to understand what prompted your addiction in the first place. Doing so will allow you to face issues head on and take responsibility for the actions that hurt your loved ones while you were using.
Let Go of Guilt and Shame
Negative thoughts about yourself and past actions will hinder your progress. Look at this as an opportunity to learn from your mistakes, and remember that everyone makes them regardless of whether or not they are struggling with addiction. Attending therapy, whether individually, with a partner (such as a spouse or family member), or in a group setting with like-minded people can help you work through this process. Make an attempt to turn feelings of shame into positive associations with the steps you’re making toward recovery and regaining control of your life.
Rediscover a Hobby or Interest
Because depression is a primary symptom associated with addiction, a therapist will often incorporate what’s called a strength-based approach into treatment. Research has shown that the motivation to have a better life is often connected to focusing on one’s strengths. Regardless if it’s a sport, cooking, or a hobby, such as needlepoint or painting, getting back into a routine with an activity you enjoy will boost your self-esteem and renew your sense of purpose.
Book a Sober Vacation
There’s no better natural pick-me-up than taking a vacation, but for many patients in recovery, it can trigger a relapse. Luckily, there are many travel operators that focus on sober vacations. Experiencing a new environment provides an opportunity for self-reflection and self-discovery.
Ease Back Into Eating Normally
Proper nutrition is key because food is the fuel that helps to balance your body and mind. Substance abuse tends to encourage poor eating habits, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Implementing and maintaining a proper diet is of utmost importance throughout the recovery process. Patients are more apt to experience drug relapse when going back to an unhealthy diet, so make sure you get assistance from a professional to help you establish a healthy eating routine. It’s likely that you didn’t have a large appetite before, so you need to ease back into eating normally again.
Avoid sugar and caffeine in order to keep your blood sugar levels in check. Nausea and diarrhea are common withdrawal symptoms so start with easily digestible foods, such as fruits, vegetables, oatmeal, and rice. Protein is also crucial to a healthy diet but should be consumed in moderation while your body adjusts to new eating habits. The bottom line is that you need a balanced meal plan to replenish lost vitamins and minerals. Your healthcare provider may also recommend a nutritional supplement.
Plan Your Post-Recovery Life
Visualizing your future can be an effective tool for staying positive, but it can also help you avoid a relapse later on. It’s never too early to start planning for the rest of your life. It may be helpful to create a wishlist for your life after recovery. Make sure it’s actionable so that you can work on a game plan to make your dreams a reality. For example: “I wish I had my diploma” can easily turn into enrolling in a GED program.
The fact that you’re in recovery is a step in the right direction so keep that in mind if you start to feel discouraged. Speak to a counselor if you need additional support or resources to guide you through any rough periods. Staying positive through this journey will set the tone for your new life.
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